Spectrum of respiratory distress and outcome in neonates admitted in National Institute of Child Health, Karachi, Pakistan.


  • Lachhman Singh Rajput National institute of Child Health, Karachi.
  • Mashal Khan National Institute of Child Health, Karachi.




Grunting, Mechanical Ventilation, Nasal Flaring, Respiratory Distress, Tachypnea


Objective: To find out the spectrum of respiratory distress and outcome in neonates admitted to Neonatal Intensive care unit (NICU) of National Institute of Child Health (NICH), Karachi, Pakistan. Study Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: NICU of NICH, Karachi, Pakistan. Period: June 2022 to May 2023. Methods: We analyzed 148 neonates of either gender presenting with respiratory distress. At the time of enrollment, demographic and clinical information was noted in all neonates along with detailed maternal history. Relevant laboratory and radiological studies were performed. Final outcomes were recorded in terms of discharged, expired or referred. Results: In a total of 148 neonates, 96 (64.9%) were boys. The mean age was 4.04±5.65 days. Tachypnea, nasal flaring, intercostal recession, subcostal recession, grunting, and cyanosis 148 (100%), 146 (98.6%), 138 (93.2%), 133 (89.9%), 97 (65.5%), and 83 (56.1%) were the most frequent clinical presentations among neonates with respiratory distress. The most frequent causes behind respiratory distress were noted to be respiratory distress syndrome, sepsis, and meconium staining of labour in 31 (20.9%), 25 (16.9%), and 24 (16.2%) neonates. Mortality was observed in 21 (14.2%) neonates. Significant association of neonates presenting with congenital pneumonia (p=0.048), or congenital anomalies (p<0.001) were found to with poor outcomes. Mechanical ventilation was found to have significant relationship with poor outcomes (p<0.001). Conclusion: Tachypnea, Nasal flaring, intercostal and subcostal recessions, grunting, and cyanosis were the primary clinical presentations among the neonates with respiratory distress. Congenital pneumonia, and congenital anomalies emerged as key predictors of poor outcomes.

Author Biographies

Lachhman Singh Rajput, National institute of Child Health, Karachi.

MBBS, Post-graduate Resident Pediatric Medicine, 

Mashal Khan, National Institute of Child Health, Karachi.

MBBS, DCH, MCPS, FCPS (Pediatric Medicine), Professor Pediatric Medicine,