Author(s): Oddie SJ, Hammal D, Richmond S, Parker L
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Abstract AIMS: To study the frequency and associations of early postpartum discharge and infant readmission to hospital. METHODS: Infants readmitted to hospital during the first 28 days of life in 1998 in the Northern Region of the UK were studied. RESULTS: A total of 4743 of 11,338 (42\%) babies were discharged on or before the first postnatal day. Rates of early discharge varied significantly between hospitals. Infants <2500 g at birth (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 0.44, 95\% CI 0.29 to 0.66), infants 35-37 weeks gestation at birth (AOR 0.65, 95\% CI 0.49 to 0.86), and firstborn infants (AOR 0.09, 95\% CI 0.08 to 0.10) were less likely to be discharged early. Women from more deprived areas were more likely to be discharged early (AOR 1.37, 95\% CI 1.12 to 1.67). A total of 907 of 32,015 (2.8\%) babies liveborn in the region were readmitted to hospital during 1998. Readmission rates varied significantly by hospital of birth but not by timing of discharge. Babies <2500 g at birth (AOR 1.95, 95\% CI 1.16 to 3.28) and babies born at 35-37 weeks gestation (AOR 1.72, 95\% CI 1.15 to 2.57) were more likely to be readmitted. Breast fed babies were less likely to be readmitted (AOR 0.69, 95\% CI 0.53 to 0.90). Infants initially discharged early were not more likely to be readmitted. CONCLUSIONS: Early discharge occurred variably in the Northern Region in 1998. It is not associated with readmission to hospital. Breast feeding is associated with lower rates of readmission to hospital.
This article was published in Arch Dis Child
and referenced in Journal of Neonatal Biology