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Early hospital discharge of newborn infants was not associated with feeding related hospital readmission during the first 28 days of life

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Objective

To determine whether an association exists between early postpartum discharge of newborn infants and feeding related hospital readmission during the first 28 days of life.

Design

Population based, nested case control study, with record linkage of computerised birth certificate data, statewide hospital discharge data, and data on neonatal feeding from the Wisconsin Newborn Screening Program.

Setting

State of Wisconsin, USA.

Participants

210 case patients (newborn infants readmitted to hospital with feeding related problems at age 4–28 d) and 630 unmatched control infants (no feeding related admissions) were identified from a cohort of 120 290 singleton newborn infants who were delivered vaginally between 1 January 1991 and 31 October 1994, with birth weights ≥2500 g, continuous hospital stays until discharge, receipt of normal newborn care, and postpartum discharge records that could be linked to birth certificate data. Exclusion criteria were congenital anomalies, abnormal postpartum conditions, hospital transfer of mother before delivery, complications during pregnancy, labour or delivery, or postpartum maternal sterilisation.

Assessment of risk factors

Early discharge was defined as discharge from the birth hospital on the day of birth (day 1) or the next day (day 2). Conventional discharge was defined as discharge on day 3.

Main outcome measure

Feeding related hospital readmission at age 4–28 days, defined as direct admission of a newborn infant (who had been previously discharged from the birth hospital to home) …

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