April 1994

Birth Weight and Hospital Readmission of Infants Born Prematurely

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Child Health, King's College Hospital, London, England.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1994;148(4):384-388. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1994.02170040050008

Objective:  To determine whether the hospital readmission rate of infants born prematurely was greatest in those whose birth weight was less than 750 g.

Design:  A prospective cohort study.

Setting:  Regional neonatal intensive care unit.

Patients:  Consecutive very-low-birth-weight (<1500 g) infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit; infants with congenital abnormalities were excluded. Two-year follow-up was completed for 109 (90.8%) of these patients.

Measurements/Main Results:  Following discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit, infants were seen at 6-month intervals at which time a detailed history was taken and examinations were performed. Hospital admissions were documented and confirmed from the medical records. Infants with birth weights of less than 750 g and those of very-low gestational age (≤28 weeks) made up the greatest number of admissions and had the longest hospital stays. In the first year of life, the duration of stay was inversely related to birth weight.

Conclusion:  Increased survival of extremely low-birth-weight infants has important implications for resource allocation of pediatric beds.(Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1994;148:384-388)