Background and aims Infants at the Neonatology Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of the Emma Children’s Hospital/Academic Medical Centre Amsterdam are transferred to regional hospitals once they no longer need intensive care. Unfortunately, a number of these infants are re-admitted to the NICU. This study investigates the similarities between these hospitalised infants, in order to develop a way to limit the number of infants re-admitted to the NICU.
Methods The first step in the process is to classify different diagnoses for re-admittance of infants to the NICU. By using these diagnoses, and adding parameters resulting from a search of literature, a set of risk parameters can be created. This set will be used to retrospectively analyse the nursing files of infants re-admitted to the NICU within 72 h after discharge. The exclusion criteria used were re-admittance for phototherapy, inserting an IV or planned surgical or treatment interventions.
Results From July 2009 to July 2013, 44 infants were re-hospitalised at the NICU. Nineteen infants met the inclusion criteria. Of these 19 infants a (graphical) risk profile could be created showing the physiological (in)stability in the three days before discharge.
Conclusions This study shows that infants have different early warning signs of physiological instability. However this instability can be expressed in a risk score, which might predict the chance that the infants are re-admitted to the NICU. The NICU may thus decide to not discharge the infant for a few more days. Further research on the utilisation of the risk score is needed.