VALIDATION OF GESTATIONAL AGE ASSESSMENT IN PRETERM BABIES BY NEW BALLARD SCORE
Md. Ashraful Islam*, Nazneen Naher, Mamun Miah and Mohammad Monir Hossain
Background: Estimation of length of gestation is of critical importance in clinical practice to ensure appropriate management of newborns, specially to pre-term infants. Although history of last menstrual period (LMP) is commonly used to estimate gestational age, this approach is dependent on the mother knowing the first day of her last menstrual period. Objective: The aim of the study was to validate the clinical assessment of gestational age by New Ballard Score (NBS) among preterm newborn infants. Method: This descriptive cross sectional study was done in the Department of Paediatrics, Dhaka Shishu Hospital, from March 2015 to October 2016. A total of 101 preterm newborn infants of both sexes whose mothers provided exact history of last menstrual history (LMP) and was confirmed by prenatal ultrasonography were included in the study. Results: Correlation of gestational age by New Ballard Score (NBS) with confirmed gestational age by last menstrual period (C-GLMP) was found to be statistically significant. Correlation of NBS total score with C-GLMP, total neuromuscular score with C-GLMP, total physical. score with C-GLMP and (d) individual criteria scores of NBS with C-GLMP were also done and was found to be statistically significant (P <0.05). Conclusion: In conclusion we can say that the clinical assessment by New Ballard Scoring (NBS) is a valid method of assessing gestational age of preterm babies while compared with confirmed gestational age by last menstrual period. Estimation of gestational age by NBS has high clinical utility in preterm babies.
Keywords: Gestational age, ballard score, neuromuscular score.
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