Original Research

Admission clinicopathological data, length of stay, cost and mortality in an equine neonatal intensive care unit

M.N. Saulez, B. Gummow, N.M. Slovis, T.D. Byars, M. Frazer, K. MacGillivray, F.T. Bain
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 78, No 3 | a308 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v78i3.308 | © 2007 M.N. Saulez, B. Gummow, N.M. Slovis, T.D. Byars, M. Frazer, K. MacGillivray, F.T. Bain | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 June 2007 | Published: 04 June 2007

About the author(s)

M.N. Saulez,
B. Gummow,
N.M. Slovis,
T.D. Byars,
M. Frazer,
K. MacGillivray,
F.T. Bain,

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Abstract

Veterinary internists need to prognosticate patients quickly and accurately in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). This may depend on laboratory data collected on admission, the cost of hospitalisation, length of stay (LOS) and mortality rate experienced in the NICU. Therefore, we conducted a retrospective study of 62 equine neonates admitted to a NICU of a private equine referral hospital to determine the prognostic value of venous clinicopathological data collected on admission before therapy, the cost of hospitalisation, LOS and mortality rate. The WBC count, total CO2 (TCO2) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) were significantly higher (P < 0.05) and anion gap lower in survivors compared with nonsurvivors. A logistic regression model that included WBC count, hematocrit, albumin / globulin ratio, ALP, TCO2, potassium, sodium and lactate, was able to correctly predict mortality in 84 % of cases. Only anion gap proved to be an independent predictor of neonatal mortality in this study. In the study population, the overall mortality rate was 34 % with greatest mortality rates reported in the first 48 hours and again on day 6 of hospitalisation. Amongst the various clinical diagnoses, mortality was highest in foals after forced extraction during correction of dystocia. Median cost per day was higher for nonsurvivors while total cost was higher in survivors.

Keywords

Clinicopathology; Critical Care; Equine; Financial Expense; Intensive Care Unit; Neonate; Survival

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