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The Pediatric Forum
August 2000

Early Newborn Hospital Discharge After Delivery: A Comment on Cost-effectiveness

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2000;154(8):849. doi:

In reply

We thank Drs Önal et al for their comments regarding our recent article.1 The authors provide a descriptive look at Fatih University Medical School Hospital's experience with early newborn discharge. While these data do not examine the effect of early discharge specifically, they do describe the outcomes of infants at 2 weeks of life in a system that implements early discharge. Although reassuring, these data, like our study, may reflect the importance of good follow-up in infants who are discharged early. While the concept of "drive-through delivery" has been troubling, our study adds to the increasing evidence that early newborn discharge, when accompanied by early and adequate follow-up, can be a reasonable and safe practice. Health services research can further address this question by specifically examining the effects of different types of follow-up on the safety of newborns who are discharged early.