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Risk factors for hospital readmission among infants with prolonged neonatal intensive care stays

Rubinos LH, Foster CC, Machut KZ, Snyder A, Simpser E, Hall M, Casto E, Berry JG

J Perinatol. 2021 Nov 23; Online ahead of print


Objective: To assess risk factors associated with 30-day hospital readmission after a prolonged neonatal intensive care stay.

Study design: Retrospective analysis of 57,035 infants discharged >14 days from the NICU between 2013 and 2016. Primary outcome was 30-day, all-cause hospital readmission. Adjusted likelihood of readmission accounting for demographic and clinical characteristics, including chronic conditions was also estimated.

Results: The 30-day readmission rate was 10.7%. Respiratory problems accounted for most (31.0%) readmissions. In multivariable analysis, shunted hydrocephalus [OR 2.2 (95%CI 1.8-2.7)], gastrostomy tube [OR 2.0 (95%CI 1.8-2.3)], tracheostomy [OR 1.5 (95%CI 1.2-1.8)], and use of public insurance [OR 1.3 (95%CI 1.2-1.4)] had the highest likelihood of readmission. Adjusted hospital readmission rates varied significantly (p < 0.001) across hospitals.

Conclusions: The likelihood of hospital readmission was highest for infants with indwelling medical devices and public insurance. These findings will inform future initiatives to reduce readmission for high risk infants with medical and social complexity.

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