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February 1990

Health and Hospital Readmissions of Very-Low-Birth-Weight and Normal-Birth-Weight Children

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (Drs Kitchen and Doyle) and Paediatrics (Dr Kitchen), The University of Melbourne (Australia), and the Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia (Drs Kitchen, Ford, and Doyle and Mss Rickards and Kelly).

Am J Dis Child. 1990;144(2):213-218. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1990.02150260093037

• Rehospitalizations and ongoing health problems at 5 years of age were contrasted between 197 very-low-birth-weight (VLBW) children and 47 normal-birth-weight children. At 5 years of age, the VLBW children had a mean of 1.7 hospital admissions and 8.5 days in a hospital; these means were significantly more than the 0.5 admissions and 1.7 days, respectively, for the normal-birth-weight children. Overall, respiratory tract problems and ear, nose, and throat surgery were the most common reasons for readmissions. Malformations and intensive care sequelae infrequently caused readmissions. No combination of sociodemographic or perinatal variables identified the VLBW children who were destined for hospital readmissions. At 5 years of age, the VLBW children, compared with the normal-birth-weight children, had significantly more ongoing sensorineural problems (29.9% and 10.6%, respectively), ongoing respiratory problems (39.6% and 19.1%, respectively), and other morbidities (31.0% and 17.0%, respectively). The VLBW children, compared with the normal-birth-weight children, had more hospital admissions during the first 5 years of life and more ongoing problems at 5 years of age.

(AJDC. 1990;144:2213-218)