. 2023 Apr 15;15(4):e37604.
doi: 10.7759/cureus.37604. eCollection 2023 Apr. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37197125/
Factors Associated With Emergency Department Visits or Readmission of Late Preterm Infants at the Neonatal Intensive Care Department, National Guard Health Affairs, Riyadh
Abdurhman S Alsaif 1, Khalid A Almutairi 1, Nawaf D Aljehani 1, Eid D Alanazi 1, Abdullah Alqahtani 1, Aly F Mahmoud 2
- PMID: 37197125
- PMCID: PMC10184473
- DOI: 10.7759/cureus.37604
Free PMC article
Background Infants who are born between 34 0/7 and 36 6/7 weeks of pregnancy as a result of maternal or fetal factors are defined as “late preterm infants”. Compared to term infants, late preterm infants are more predisposed to pregnancy complications because they are less mature physiologically and metabolically. In addition, health practitioners still face difficulties in differentiating between term and late preterm infants due to similar general appearance. The aim of this study is to explore the epidemiology of readmission among late preterm infants at the National Guard Health Affairs. The objectives of the study were to calculate the rate of readmission among late preterm infants in the first month after discharge and to identify the associated risk factors for readmission. Methods A retrospective cross-sectional study was carried out at the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU at King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh). We identified preterm infants born in 2018 and the risk factors for readmission within the first month of life. Data on risk factors were collected using the electronic medical file. Results A total of 249 late preterm infants with a mean gestational age of 36 weeks were included in the study. Of them, 64 infants (25.7%) suffered from at least a subsequent admission and stayed overnight in either the inpatient department or pediatric emergency room. Maternal diabetes was a significant risk factor for readmission; on the other hand, a positive maternal Rh factor was a protective factor against readmission. Among readmitted infants (n=64), 51 infants were admitted to the emergency room (79.69%), eight infants were readmitted to the pediatric ward (12.5%), and five infants were readmitted to both (7.8%). The most common cause for pediatric ER visits was gastrointestinal (GIT) problems (27%), followed by upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) (18%) and jaundice (14%). The most common cause for direct ward readmission was jaundice (n= 5; 62%). Conclusion Gastrointestinal (GIT) issues and upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) were the leading causes of pediatric emergency room admissions. In contrast, jaundice, congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), airway problems, and regurgitation were the most frequent causes of admission to the ward, with jaundice being the primary cause. Although studies suggest that the late preterm population is at a higher risk for long-term health issues, further research is necessary to investigate this topic thoroughly.
Keywords: git problems; jaundice; late preterm infants; sepsis; urti.
Copyright © 2023, Alsaif et al.