A premature neonate can be discharged from the hospital once specific criteria have been met.


Patient selection: premature neonate


Clinical features:

(1) corrected gestational age > 34.5 weeks

(2) adequate body weight

(2a) if size small for gestational age: > 1,800 grams

(2b) if size normal for gestational age: > 2,000 grams

(3) steady growth of 20-30 g per day on the feeding regimen to be used at home

(4) able to maintain body temperature in an open crib (> 97.5°F, > 36.4°C)

(5) stable with resolution of all significant symptoms

(6) resolved or resolving hyperbilirubinemia

(7) no sepsis or active infection, or else adequately treated

(8) completion of a period of observation sufficient to detect possible complications or potential problems

(9) sufficient recovery from any procedures



(1) consistently feeding by mouth with adequate intake

(2) able to pass stool and urine

(3) no major care issues that cannot be managed at home

(4) no major changes prior to discharge


Home factors:

(1) adequate home environment for care of the infant

(2) arrangements for social services made if required

(3) able to communicate with healthcare providers in the event of a significant problem

(4) follow-up arrangements made

(5) able to reach a healthcare facility in a reasonable time if a problem occurs


If failure to achieve a given body weight is the only criteria that has not been met then the child can be discharged.


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