To determine whether the hospital readmission rate of infants born prematurely was greatest in those whose birth weight was less than 750 g.
A prospective cohort study.
Regional neonatal intensive care unit.
Consecutive very-low-birth-weight (<1500 g) infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit; infants with congenital abnormalities were excluded. Two-year follow-up was completed for 109 (90.8%) of these patients.
Following discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit, infants were seen at 6-month intervals at which time a detailed history was taken and examinations were performed. Hospital admissions were documented and confirmed from the medical records. Infants with birth weights of less than 750 g and those of very-low gestational age (≤28 weeks) made up the greatest number of admissions and had the longest hospital stays. In the first year of life, the duration of stay was inversely related to birth weight.
Increased survival of extremely low-birth-weight infants has important implications for resource allocation of pediatric beds.(Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1994;148:384-388)