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Obstet Gynecol. 1997 Jun;89(6):930-3.

The effect of early discharge after vaginal delivery on neonatal readmission rates.

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Patient Care Services Department, University of Cincinnati Hospital, Ohio, USA.



To determine the effect of a structured program for early neonatal discharge from a tertiary medical center on the risk of neonatal readmission.


An early-discharge program was instituted at our tertiary medical center in July 1993, with the objective of discharging mothers and infants within 24 hours after vaginal birth. The readmission rate of vaginally delivered infants during the early-discharge period (July 1, 1993, through March 31, 1995) was compared with the rate during a conventional-discharge period (January 1, 1992, through June 30, 1993). Analyses were performed to examine two groups within the early-discharge group: those discharged within 24 hours of vaginal delivery; and those discharged within 1 hospital day of vaginal delivery.


During the early-discharge period, 1.24% of neonates were readmitted within 10 days of birth, compared with 1.35% during the conventional-discharge period. In the early-discharge period group, infants born vaginally and discharged within 24 hours of birth had a readmission rate of 1.46% compared with 1.14% for those who stayed longer than 24 hours after delivery. Similarly, the readmission rate was no different for infants who were discharged within 1 hospital day. The primary indications for readmission in both periods were infections and jaundice.


Implementation of a structured program for early neonatal discharge does not have an association with increased risk of neonatal readmission to the hospital.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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