Age and weight at final discharge from an early discharge programme for stable but tube-fed preterm infants

A M Ahnfeldt, H Stanchev, H L Jørgensen, G Greisen

32 Citationer (Scopus)


AIM: Preterm birth is often associated with prolonged hospitalisation, complicating the parent-child relationship and breastfeeding rates. As a result, an early discharge programme was implemented in the department of neonatology at Rigshospitalet. The infants were stable, but required tube feeding, and during the programme, they received home visits by neonatal nurses. We evaluated the programme, focusing on the infants' well-being, using weight gain, breastfeeding rates and total duration of hospitalisation as outcomes.

METHODS: Over an 11-year period, 500 infants participated in the programme and they constituted the early discharge group. They were compared with 400 infants discharged from the Naestved and Nykoebing Falster hospitals.

RESULTS: The early discharge group's length of hospitalisation was only three days shorter than the comparison group, but they were eight days younger when they joined the programme (p < 0.0001). Total admission was 21 days longer (p < 0.0001). There was no difference in weight-for-age at discharge (p = 0.15), but infants in the early discharge group were more frequently fully or partly breastfed (88% versus 80%, p < 0.005).

CONCLUSION: While recognising the limited comparability of the two groups, weight-for-age at discharge was similar, but the programme appeared to allow better breastfeeding success at the expense of a later final discharge.

TidsskriftActa paediatrica
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)377-83
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2015


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