Aim To conduct national survey of admission practice for near term and low birth weight (B Wt) infants directly to postnatal ward (PNW) after birth.
Method All Neonatal Units in England contacted over the telephone and collected the data.
Results 184 neonatal units in England were contacted and 180 responded (98%). Of the four non-responders two were from Level 1, and one each from Level 2 and Level 3 units. The details of neonatal units, gestational age (GA) & B Wt limit for direct PNW admission after birth are presented in table 1.
Significantly lower gestational age infants were admitted directly to PNW in Level 2 units compared to Level 1 (p 0.03; CI 0.03 to 0.52) and Level 3 units compared to Level 2 (p 0.02; CI 0.028 to 0.211). Mean B Wt limit for direct PNW admission was significantly lower in Level 3 units compared to Level 1 (p 0.011; CI 0.028 to 0.211).
Conclusion Type of neonatal unit influences the lower limit of B Wt & gestational age of near term infants admitted directly to PNW after birth.
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