It is cautioned that there is an element of risk in early discharge insofar as medical supervision during the infant's transitional period must, of necessity, be intermittent rather than continuous. With this in mind, the following guidelines are suggested.
CRITERIA FOR EARLY INFANT DISCHARGE
1. Attendance at prenatal childbirth education and infant care classes where problems of the first three to five days of life are included.
2. Identification of a supporting person to assist with care at home in the neonatal period.
3. Identification of physician-directed source of continuous medical care following hospital discharge. This should include an appointment at 2 to 3 days of age.
4. Uncomplicated antepatum, intrapartum, and postpartum course of both mother and infant.
5. Term infant (38 to 41 completed weeks) who is normally growrn (2,500 to 4,500 gm) and who is examined by a physician prior to discharge and found normal.
6. A minimum of six hours of hospitalization during which time the infant has achieved thermal homeostasis and fed successfully (demonstrated a normal suck and swallowing mechanism).
7. Laboratory data: (a) maternal or cord blood serologic test for syphilis; (b) cord blood (or infant blood) type and Coombs if mother Rh negative or type O. A Coombs test should be performed on all infants if a screening test for irregular antibodies was not performed during pregnancy; and (c) hemoglobin and blood sugar determinations as clinically indicated.
8. Maternal skill and demonstrated ability with: (a) feeding technique; (b) skin care, including cord care; (c) temperature assessment and measurement with thermometer and (d) assessment of infant well being and recognition of illness.
- Copyright © 1980 by the American Academy of Pediatrics