Recent developments in pediatrics healthcare have significantly increased the survival rate of preterm neonates. The transfer of pregnant women for the delivery of very preterm (VPT) infants and the risk of mortality can be a helpful factor in improving preterm survival. This study aims to examine whether an antenatal transfer of pregnant women to a level III hospital is associated with neonatal mortality in VPT infants.

This population-based, cross-sectional study included a total of 4,817 infants who were born VPT. Three exposures were considered: delivery of VPT infant after a maternal presentation (group 1), after antenatal transfer from another hospital (group 2), or in a non-level 3 hospital (group 3). The primary objective of the study was neonatal mortality.

Of 4,817 participants, 3,302 (68.5%) were in group 1, 677 (14.1%) in group 2, and 838 (17.4%) in group 3. Overall neonatal mortality was 11.9 % (573 infants). Group analysis indicated that neonatal mortality was 10.7% in group 1, 9.8% in group 2, and 17.3% in group 3. Further adjustments confirmed that the risk of neonatal mortality was similar in infants in group 1 and group 2 (odds ratio 0.79).

The research concluded that the risk of neonatal mortality was similar in VPT infants who were transferred to a level III hospital after a maternal presentation or antenatal transfer.