Infant Journal
for neonatal and paediatric healthcare professionals

Estimating length of stay for very preterm babies

Estimating neonatal length of stay has received limited attention in the past. Anecdotally parents are told that their baby will be discharged home ‘around their due date’ but there is no evidence to suggest this is an accurate estimate. This article provides length of stay estimates by week of gestational age for very preterm babies. Information about likely length of stay, complemented by clinical knowledge and alongside information about the risk of mortality, is important and useful for counselling parents and preparing them for their baby’s discharge.

Sarah E. Seaton
BSc, MSc, PhD
Medical Statistician, The Infant Mortality and Morbidity Studies, Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester

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neonatal care; length of stay; mortality; preterm

Also published in Infant:

Mortality data by day of life: should this be part of parental counselling on the neonatal unit?
Antenatal counselling given to women and families who are anticipating extremely premature delivery of their baby inevitably involves discussion around mortality and these discussions continue on the neonatal unit. This can be challenging to address, particularly as mortality risk changes over time. Through analysing mortality rates by day of life for each gestation over time in a single unit, it is possible to have more accurate data on this. However, whether or how this should be communicated to parents remains challenging.