The challenges of early discharge. Common newborn problems in the first few weeks of life.
In a thorough discussion of a published series on early discharge, Britton, Britton and Beebe note that methodological limitations, study design problems and heterogeneity sorely limit the conclusions that may be drawn from published studies about early discharge. These authors found that the 1980 recommendations of the AAP about early discharge are still appropriate. They recommend individualizing the discharge decision based on mother-infant health, as well as on psychosocial and socioeconomic factors. These authors apparently seek to temper the headlong rush to early discharge with an awareness of the wider societal context within which childbirth must be understood. Although the literature paints a positive picture of early home discharge, existing research still lacks the statistical power and scientific evidence to support this practice. There are many positive reasons for the early discharge of a mother-infant dyad, but they may have nothing to do with monetary savings. As with many things we do in our clinical practice, there is much room for the input of nurse practitioners, not only in providing care, but also in the shaping of health care policy.
Blood-Siegfried, J; Hoey, C; Matheson, E
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