Introduction Infants who are borderline premature, low birth-weight and multiple births have extended stay within the neonatal unit, primarily to establish feeds. Discharging these infants’ home on nasogastric feeds (NGF) to establish feeds, would have significant benefits for family bonding and freeing neonatal cot spaces. However, there is a need for risk assessment as well as parental training.
Aim To identify the benefits and safety of nasogastric feeding at home.
The objective is to identify the number of saved bed days and costs, infants’ growth and support required at home
Methods This audit was conducted over a period of 18 months from January 2011 to June 2012. All the infants discharged home on NGF were identified from the community database and data collected from medical as well as community nursing notes. Two days were added to the total, as the unit protocol is to observe infants for 48hrs after fully established feeds, before discharging home.
Results A total of 30 infants were included in the survey; 22 of these infants were ≥32 weeks gestation at birth, and the other 8 infants were <32 weeks gestation. The results are shown in Table 1. A total of 372 days were saved with a cost saving around £167,400 (≈£450/scbu day). No family used additional support. No infant was readmitted due to poor growth or skin infection.
Early discharge to home on NG feeds was safe and the infants gained weight appropriately. This saved a median of 8 bed days. The families required routine support from their close relatives and community team.
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