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NICU: Length of stay 109 days for technology-dependent babies at Rainbow Babies & Children’s

What is this study? A retrospective medical record review for 93 babies discharged from NICU at one hospital.

More about it: Researchers studied the care needed by babies who were discharged home from the neonatal intensive care unit at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital (Cleveland) during a recent two- year period.  Data on 71 babies who were technology dependent were compared with 22 who were not.  Here are some findings:

Technology-Dependent Newborns Discharged from NICU

  • 66 percent needed supplemental oxygen at home
  • 46 percent needed feeding tubes at home
  • 16 percent needed tracheostomy at home
  • 16 percent needed mechanical ventilation at home

Newborns discharged home dependent on technology had an initial stay in the NICU of about 109 days compared to about 26 days for those discharged home non-dependent on technology.

Hospital readmission risk indicators for the technology-dependent group included: being female, having a gastrostomy tube or having initial lengthy NICU stay.


NICU-t0-home transition can be tricky. (2016, June). Managed Care, 25(6), 8.  Click here: http://www.managedcaremag.com/archives/2016/6/nicu-home-transition-can-be-tricky

Toly, V.B., and others. (2016, June 7). Neonates and infants discharged home dependent on medical technology: Characteristics and outcomes. Advances in Neonatal Care,   Click here:  http://journals.lww.com/advancesinneonatalcare/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=9000&issue=00000&article=99928&type=abstract

BIRTHS: About 10 percent of the 4 million births each year in U.S. are premature

The federal government collects statistics on all births in the United States.  Here are data for 2014 for premature births:

  • 3,988,076 total births in the United States
  • 381,321 (or about 10 percent of all births) were preterm (under 37 weeks gestational age)
  • Of those, 27,320 (or less than 1 percent of all births) were the most preterm (under 28 weeks gestational age)

The data are also presented according to birthweight:

  • 8 percent of all births in the United States in 2014 were LOW birthweight
  • 1.4 percent of all births were VERY LOW birthweight

Also interesting is PLACE OF BIRTH:

  • 3,988,076 total
  • 3,928,272 in the hospital
  •      38,094 at home
  •      18,219 freestanding birthing center

Source: Hamilton, B.E., Martin, J.A., Osterman, M.J.K., and others. (2015, Dec. 23). Births: Final data for 2014. National Vital Statistics Report. 64(12), 50, 53.  http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_12.pdf  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org