Early Discharge Study for Premature Infants: Singapore General Hospital

Early Discharge Study for Premature Infants: Singapore General Hospital


Yeo Cheo Lian, MD; Selina Ho Kah Ying, MD; Cheong Chiu Peng, RN; Tay Yih Yann, RN

Fall 2008 - Volume 12 Number 4



Introduction: At Singapore General Hospital, approximately 240 infants of the 1500 deliveries per annum are delivered preterm, many of very low birth weight—median of 1210 g—often have extended hospital stays, even after they are declared medically fit.

Methods: To better understand the discharge patterns of the preterm infants in the department, a team of two neonatologists and two nurses performed a retrospective review of 36 premature infants. The underlying causes leading to and the root causes of discharge delays were identified as:

1. Required goal weight of 2 kg, even when medically fit

2. Delivery of discharge plan to parents delayed

3. Discharge planning delayed

4. No ownership in discharge planning.

Results/Conclusion: The length of hospital stay was reduced 59.8%, primarily by improved discharge planning, revised guidelines (mean discharge at 1915 g), and nurses’ active preparation of parents psychologically and mentally for care of their babies at home.


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