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Paediatr Child Health. 2014 Jan;19(1):31-42.

Going home: Facilitating discharge of the preterm infant.

[Article in English, French; Abstract available in French from the publisher]


in English, French

At the time of discharge home, parents of preterm infants in the neonatal intensive care unit often feel apprehensive and may question their ability to care for their baby. The well-planned, comprehensive discharge of a medically stable infant helps to ensure a positive transition to home and safe, effective care after discharge. This statement provides guidance in planning discharge of infants born before 34 weeks' gestational age from tertiary and community settings. Discharge readiness is usually determined by demonstration of functional maturation, including the physiological competencies of thermoregulation, control of breathing, respiratory stability, and feeding skills and weight gain. Supporting family involvement and providing education from the time of admission improve parental confidence and decrease anxiety. Assessing the physical and psychosocial discharge environment is an important part of the discharge process. The clinical team is responsible for ensuring that appropriate investigations and screening tests have been completed, that medical concerns have been resolved and that a follow-up plan is in place at the time of discharge home.


Apnea; Bradycardia; NICU; Screening; Thermoregulation


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