Estimating Length of Stay by Patient Type in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

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Abstract

Objective

Develop length of stay prediction models for neonatal intensive care unit patients.

Study Design

We used data from 2008 to 2010 to construct length of stay models for neonates admitted within 1 day of age to neonatal intensive care units and surviving to discharge home.

Results

Our sample included 23,551 patients. Median length of stay was 79 days when birth weight was < 1,000 g, 46 days for 1,000 to 1,500 g, 21 days for 1,500 to 2,500 g, and 8 days for ≥2,500 g. Risk factors for longer length of stay varied by weight. Units with shorter length of stay for one weight group had shorter lengths of stay for other groups.

Conclusion

Risk models for comparative assessments of length of stay need to appropriately account for weight, particularly considering the cutoff of 1,500 g. Refining prediction may benefit counseling of families and health care systems to efficiently allocate resources.

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