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J Pediatr. 2001 Aug;139(2):245-8.

Home apnea monitor use in preterm infants discharged from newborn intensive care units.

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Pediatrix Medical Group, Inc, Sunrise, Florida.



To identify current factors associated with home apnea monitor use in preterm infants and to determine whether home monitor use was associated with a shorter length of hospital stay.


We evaluated neonates who were < or =34 weeks' estimated gestational age and admitted for neonatal intensive care. We excluded neonates with congenital anomalies, neonates transferred out before discharge, and neonates who died.


Using a database created with a computer-assisted tool that generates hospital notes, we reviewed the epidemiology of monitor use. Differences between neonates sent home with an apnea monitor and those who were not were evaluated by using stepwise logistic regression analysis to identify which factors were independently associated with a neonate being discharged with a monitor.


We studied 14,532 neonates; 1588 (11%) were sent home with monitors and 12,944 (89%) were not. The most important variables associated with being discharged with a monitor were site of care and a diagnosis of apnea. Site variation remained significant when adjusted for gestational age, diagnosis of apnea, and a history of use of methylxanthines. When corrected for gestational age, monitor use was not associated with shorter hospital stays.


The data suggest that monitor use is more dependent on physician preference than medical indication and is not associated with earlier hospital discharge.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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