Conflict of interest: None declared.
The low birthweight, term infant and the need for admission to special care nurseries
Article first published online: 16 JUN 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health © 2013 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians)
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Volume 49, Issue 12, pages 1019–1024, December 2013
How to Cite
Parry, M. and Davies, M. W. (2013), The low birthweight, term infant and the need for admission to special care nurseries. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 49: 1019–1024. doi: 10.1111/jpc.12304
- Issue published online: 10 DEC 2013
- Article first published online: 16 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 22 APR 2013
- low birthweight;
- patient admission;
- special care nursery
We aimed to determine, in full-term newborns born between 2000 and 2499 g, what proportion develop problems or the need for interventions that would likely require admission to a special care nursery (SCN) (i.e. needed an intravenous line (IV) or a nasogastric tube (NGT).
A multicentre, retrospective audit of all babies born from 1 January to 30 June 2011 was used. Eligible babies were term, inborn at one of four centres in south-east Queensland, with a birthweight between 2000 and 2499 g.
The cohort of 98 babies had a mean (SD) birthweight of 2340 (122.3) g and a mean (SD) gestational age of 38.3 (1.0) weeks. Forty-three had at least one low temperature, 55 had at least one low blood glucose, 35 had an NGT, 22 had an IV cannula. In the entire cohort, 48 babies (49%) required either an IV cannula or an NGT. Fifteen per cent had a second problem (either low blood glucose or low temperature) at a median (interquartile range) age of 11 (5.5–25.5) h: none required a second NGT or IV. The proportion of babies that required either an NGT or an IV was larger in the 2000–2199 g group (P = 0.026).
About half of the babies born with a birthweight of 2000–2499 g will require some intervention that will require them to be admitted to a SCN. However, about half would be able to avoid an SCN admission if they are well and admitted to the post-natal ward.