School of Medicine Publications and Presentations

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Objective To compare neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission rates and length of stay (LOS) of late preterm infants (LPIs) born before and after opening a specialized care nursery (SCN) at our academic, pediatric tertiary care center with 4,500 total deliveries annually

Study Design Retrospective chart review of inborn LPIs (350/7–366/7 weeks) who were asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic at birth and delivered 7 months before the opening of the SCN (pre-SCN) or 7 months subsequently (post-SCN). Infants were excluded for major congenital anomalies or other conditions requiring immediate NICU admission. The pre-SCN options for care were standard couplet care or NICU. The postSCN options for care were standard couplet care, SCN, or NICU.

Results Pre-SCN (n ¼ 109), 73 (67%) infants received standard couplet care, while 36 (33%) infants were ever admitted/transferred to the NICU. Post-SCN (n ¼ 112), 59 (53%) infants received standard couplet care, while 20 (18%) were ever admitted/transferred to the NICU. A total of 33 (29%) infants were admitted/transferred to the SCN and avoided a NICU stay. Median LOS for all infants was 3 days.

Conclusion The frequency of LPIs admitted/transferred to the NICU decreased by 50% after the opening of the SCN. LOS did not differ by birth cohort, but did differ significantly by location of care (standard couplet care < SCN < NICU).


© 2015, Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., Original published version available at

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Publication Title

American Journal of Perinatology



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Mentor/PI Department

Population Health and Biostatistics



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