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January 1989

Safety of Newborn Discharge in Less Than 36 Hours in an Indigent Population

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine, and the Lubchenco Center for Perinatal Research, Denver.

Am J Dis Child. 1989;143(1):98-101. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1989.02150130108026

• The safety of a moderately early newborn discharge program and the ability to follow up within 48 hours of release was evaluated in an indigent population from our institution. A retrospective chart review of 2000 consecutive admissions to our normal newborn nursery was conducted to determine the following: (1) length of nursery stay; (2) reason for extension of nursery stay beyond 36 hours; (3) documentation of outpatient follow-up within 48 hours of discharge for infants released within 36 hours of birth; and (4) incidence of and reason for readmission to the hospital within one week of initial discharge. A total of 1091 infants (54.6%) were discharged within 24 to 36 hours of birth, with documentation of outpatient follow-up in 994 (91.1%). Twenty-five (2.3%) of the early discharges required readmission within seven days of initial discharge compared with a 0.89% incidence among infants hospitalized greater than 48 hours. Twenty-four of the 25 readmissions did have outpatient follow-up, and no serious complications occurred. The data demonstrate that moderately early neonatal discharge can be safely accomplished in an indigent population with the aid of a successful outpatient follow-up program.

(AJDC 1989;143:98-101)

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