The Duration of Hospitalization and Readmission Rate of Low Birth Weight Infants in a Tertiary Referral Hospital in Isfahan, Iran

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor, Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Child Growth and Development Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Student of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

3 General Practitioner, Almahdi University, Isfahan, Iran

4 Faculty Member, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, School of Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Currently, the number of premature deliveries has been increasing, resulting in early postnatal discharge due to shortage of beds in the neonatal intensive care units (NICU).
Methods: This descriptive-analytical study was conducted through investigating the premature infants’ files for gestational age (GA), birth weight (BW) and duration of the first hospitalization. Furthermore, the readmission rate during the first year of life and their causes were studied.
Results: Overall, 495 infants were enrolled in this study. The range of GA and BW of infants who were admitted to NICU were 24-36 weeks and 470 - 2500 g, respectively. A total of 172 (34.74%) infants had a BW of less than 1500 g (VLBW), and 144 of them (29.09%) were severely premature (GA of between 24-31 weeks). The median (range) time of hospitalization in VLBW infants was 22 (1-75). Moreover, 76 (15.3%) infants were re-hospitalized during the first year of life, and 32 (6.4%) infants were readmitted during the first three months of life. The four most common causes of re-hospitalization during the first year of life were as follows: pneumonia (32.89%), icter (17.10%), treatment of retinopathy of prematurity (10.52%) and sepsis (9.20%).
Conclusion: Hospital policies are changing due to the high rate of preterm births and lack of neonatal beds. The results of this study suggested that premature neonates, who are able to regulate body temperature at room temperature, and gain weight by oral feeding with no recent apnoea or bradycardia, could be discharged regardless of their gestational age and body weight.


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