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March 1981

Rehospitalization of the Very-Low-Birth-Weight Infant: A Continuum of Perinatal and Environmental Morbidity

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Rainbow Babies and Childrens Hospital, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland.

Am J Dis Child. 1981;135(3):263-266. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1981.02130270055018

• To evaluate ongoing morbidity, a prospective follow-up study was undertaken of the frequency and causes of rehospitalization of very-low-birth-weight infants (<1,500 g) during the first year of life. In 1977, 90 very-low-birth-weight infants were discharged after an average of 62 days' hospitalization. Thirty required rehospitalization on 51 occasions during the first year, for reasons including continuing care of chronic conditions related to the initial neonatal hospitalization (16), respiratory and other infections (14), inguinal herniorrhaphy (13), caretaking disorders (five), and other causes (three). Infants at highest risk for rehospitalization included those with chronic conditions and/or those with poor neurodevelopmental outcomes. These data reconfirm the continuing toll of perinatal morbidity among very-low-birth-weight infants and emphasize the medical and social responsibility for a systematic program of follow-up for these high-risk infants.

(Am J Dis Child 1981;135:263-266)

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