[Hospital transfer of newborn infants in the Loire-Atlantic area (France)]

Rev Epidemiol Sante Publique. 1994;42(4):307-14.
[Article in French]


The rate of neonatal referral from the site of birth to a special care centre is generally related to the conditions of the pregnancy and the status of the neonate. The purpose of this study was to investigate other factors affecting referral including obstetric procedures, and equipment and personnel environment. A prospective survey of the neonatal population in 9 maternity hospital in the Loire-Atlantique area in France was conducted. There were, 1.316 births and the referral rate was 10.3% with a range of 1 to 24% depending on the originating hospital. After adjustment for gestational age, multivariate analysis revealed that the medical variables were the main factors affecting referral rate (positive gastric smear, adjusted odds ratio, ORa = 62.6; disease, ORa = 37.7; Apgar score 1 min < 7, ORa = 9.4; monitoring abnormality, ORa = 3.2; coloured amniotic fluid, CORa = 2.7; birthweight, ORa = 0.3). A high risk of referral was observed in only one maternity hospital (ORa = 9.4) related to a poor environment index. This center was in close vicinity to another maternity hospital. In a regional referral programme, high risk neonates should be delivered in maternity hospitals near a special care centre. But, in order to keep the rate of referral, with its adverse effect on the mother-baby relation, low, care for neonates with minor disease or only slightly underweight at birth should be cared for in these centers without referral.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • France / epidemiology
  • Gestational Age
  • Hospitals, Maternity
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / therapy*
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Patient Transfer / statistics & numerical data*
  • Poverty
  • Prospective Studies
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Social Environment