Place of birth and variations in management of late preterm ("near-term") infants

Semin Perinatol. 2006 Feb;30(1):44-7. doi: 10.1053/j.semperi.2006.01.012.


Background: The purpose of this study is to characterize variations in management late preterm infants because such variations in such a large group of neonates would have economic and health implications.

Methods: Comparison of the use of illustrative management approaches and gestational age at discharge among infants born at 33 to 34 6/7 weeks and discharged alive from 10 Massachusetts and California NICUs.

Results: Generally similar in birth weight and admission severity, significant differences were seen in illustrative interventions, such as the use of mechanical ventilation (range in use across hospitals from 9% to 43%) and nutritional practices (use of hyperalimentation ranged from 5% to 66%). Variations in average daily weight gain were seen with some infants averaging net losses. Postmenstrual age at discharge varied by a week between the hospital with the earliest discharge and that with the latest.

Conclusions: Care for these infants would be improved by further examination of their needs and the establishment of practice guidelines to reduce unneeded variation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • California
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal / statistics & numerical data*
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data*
  • Massachusetts
  • Perinatal Care / methods*