Respiratory distress (RD) is the commonest reason for admission in Neonatology intensive care units (NICU) and it is caused by respiratory and non-respiratory illnesses. The goal of the study is to find out most important causes of RD in preterm babies with 32 or more weeks of gestation, and to compare the etiology factors for RD in those preterm and in full term babies. Retrospective study in the NICU, Clinical Hospital Osijek, during the year 2016 was done. Almost 20% of admitted in NICU have RD, 34% of preterm babies of or older than 32 weeks, and 12% of terms babies. Among newborns with RD 61% were boys, and 39% girls. Among all live born 4% of boys and 2, 6% of girls had RD. Mother’s illnesses as a cause of RD were found in 23, 2% and illnesses of the child in the other 60, 1%. Complications during delivery caused RD in the last 4% of newborns (some neonates have had more than one reason for RD). In 18, 9% of newborns the etiological factor was not found, and RD is probably genetically caused. The proportion of unknown causes is higher in preterm babies (22%). RD in term babies is mainly caused by illnesses of the child himself, and in preterm by mother’s illnesses.

Key words: neonatal respiratory distress, sepsis, complications in pregnancy, gestational diabetes

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