Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: The survival rate among preterm infants has improved, and hospital stays have been prolonged, consistent with positive developments in perinatal and neonatal care. The aim of this study was to provide evidence-based information for healthcare professionals concerning the ideal time for discharge by evaluating the reasons for prolonged hospital stays. Materials and methods: Six hundred eighty-one premature babies born at 24?35 weeks at the Mersin University Medical Faculty Hospital between January 2016 and May 2020 and admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit were included in the study following a retrospective file examination. Date of birth (gestational age) and discharge week (duration of hospital stay) calculated from the date of final discharge were recorded. Based on the literature, the ideal discharge time was determined to be 40 weeks according to postmenstrual age (week of birth + length of hospital stay). The primary variable was whether the infants were discharged before the ideal discharge week. The secondary variable was the effect of the presence of comorbidity on the length of hospital stay and ideal discharge time. Results: The mean hospital stay of preterm neonate born at 250?7?260?7, 270?7?280?7 and 290?7?300?7 weeks was significantly shorter in the absence of comorbidity than in the presence of comorbidity (p = 0.001, 0.004, and 0.008, respectively). More than half (53.5%) were discharged before the expected date of birth as gestational weeks increased, despite the prolonged length of stay in the presence of comorbidity. Conclusion: Health professionals can inform families that, in the absence of comorbidity, discharge is possible at an average of 36 weeks for 250?7?280?7-week gestational ages, and at an average of 34 weeks for 290?7?320?7-week gestational ages.


Preterm neonate, hospital length of stay, discharge

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