Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Length of Stay Reduction by Heart Rate Characteristics Monitoring

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ObjectiveTo examine the effect of heart rate characteristics (HRC) monitoring on length of stay among very low birth weight (VLBW; <1500 g birth weight) neonates in the HeRO randomized controlled trial (RCT).Study designWe performed a retrospective analysis of length of stay metrics among 3 subpopulations (all patients, all survivors, and survivors with positive blood or urine cultures) enrolled in a multicenter, RCT of HRC monitoring.ResultsAmong all patients in the RCT, infants randomized to receive HRC monitoring were more likely than controls to be discharged alive and prior to day 120 (83.6% vs 80.1%, P = .014). The postmenstrual age at discharge for survivors with positive blood or urine cultures was 3.2 days lower among infants randomized to receive HRC monitoring when compared with controls (P = .026). Although there were trends in other metrics toward reduced length of stay in HRC-monitored patients, none reached statistical significance.ConclusionsHRC monitoring is associated with reduced mortality in VLBW patients and a reduction in length of stay among infected surviving VLBW infants.Trial NCT00307333.

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