Article Text

Dublin experience on the outcome of triplet pregnancies: a 10-year retrospective study
  1. SN Johnson1,
  2. I Basit2,
  3. M Wingfield3,
  4. M Geary2,
  5. S Daly1
  1. 1Coombe Women and Infant University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2The Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  3. 3National Maternity Hospital, Dublin, Ireland


Introduction Triplet pregnancies are deemed high risk pregnancies. The aim of our study was to look at the perinatal outcome associated with triplet pregnancies in a mixed Irish population.

Methodology Pregnancies were identified using database information from the three maternity hospitals in Dublin from 1999 to 2008. Retrospective analysis of electronic databases and maternal and neonatal medical charts was carried out. Pregnancies culminating in spontaneous abortion and ones with incomplete data were excluded.

Results A total of 81 triplet pregnancies were identified. The median gestation at delivery was 33 weeks with a median birth weight of 1850 g. Poor Apgar scores were seen in four babies (1.6%). There were three stillbirths (3/243) and no early neonatal deaths. This gives a perinatal mortality of 12.3/1000.

There were 67 (27.9%) babies with respiratory distress syndrome of varying severity. A normal cranial ultrasound was seen in 204 babies. 15 (6.2%) babies were found to have grade 1–2 intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), and six babies (2.4%) had grade 3–4 IVH. One baby was found to have cerebral atrophy with PVL. Necrotizing enterocolitis was seen in 2.1% of babies. Patent ductus arteriosus was noted in 5% babies. The average length of stay in special care baby unit was 20.5 days with a median weight of 2140 g on discharge.

Conclusion Improving antenatal and neonatal care has changed the prospects of triplet pregnancies in recent years. The present review was undertaken with this in mind and to assist counselling of couples presenting in early pregnancy with triplets.

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