To examine the association between early discharge from hospital after birth and readmission to hospital for jaundice among term infants, and among infants discharged early, to investigate the perinatal risk factors for readmission for jaundice.
Birth data for 781 074 term live-born infants born in New South Wales, Australia from 2001 to 2010 were linked to hospital admission data. Logistic regression models were used to investigate the association between postnatal length of stay (LOS), gestational age (GA), and readmission for jaundice in the first 14 days of life. Other significant perinatal risk factors associated with readmission for jaundice were examined for infants discharged in the first 2 days after birth.
Eight per 1000 term infants were readmitted for jaundice. Infants born at 37 weeks’ GA with an LOS at birth of 0 to 2 days were over 9 times (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 9.43; 95% CI, 8.34–10.67) and at 38 weeks’ GA were 4 times (aOR 4.05; 95% CI, 3.62–4.54) more likely to be readmitted for jaundice compared with infants born at 39 weeks’ GA with an LOS of 3 to 4 days. Other significant risk factors for readmission for jaundice for infants discharged 0 to 2 days after birth included vaginal birth, born to mothers from an Asian country, born to first-time mothers, or being breastfed at discharge.
This study can inform guidelines or policy about identifying infants at risk for readmission for jaundice and ensure that appropriate post-discharge follow-up is received.