Over a two-year period, we studied a total of 100 newborns delivered in our hospital, needing ventilation. The indications for ventilation, complications, outcome, and factors influencing outcome were analyzed. Of the 100 babies, 54 were preterm, 44 term and 2 post-term. Overall survival was 58%. The commonest indication for ventilation was meconium aspiration syndrome in term babies and hyaline membrane disease in preterms. Babies ventilated for pneumonia had the best outcome, while the poorest outcome was in sepsis. Survival increased significantly with increasing birth weight and gestational age. Downes score, Apgar score and pH at birth did not correlate significantly with outcome. The maximum peak inspiratory pressure requirement was significantly higher in the non-survivors. In pneumonia and sepsis, increased FiO2 requirement significantly impaired survival. The commonest complication was shock. Incidence of disseminated intravascular coagulation, pulmonary hemorrhage and pneumothorax was significantly higher in non-survivors; however, none of these factors was independently predictive of mortality.