BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE:

Car seat tolerance screening (CSTS) is a common predischarge assessment of neonates. Almost half of nurseries and NICUs have low birth weight (LBW, <2.5 kg) as an inclusion criterion, regardless of birth gestational age (GA). Little is known about the epidemiology of CSTS in this cohort. The objective of this study was to identify incidence and risk factors for CSTS failure in term LBW infants.

METHODS:

This was a retrospective medical record review of 220 full-term LBW infants qualifying for CSTS over a 4-year period between January 2010 to December 2013. We described CSTS results and performed bivariate analyses to evaluate for predictors of failure.

RESULTS:

Overall failure incidence was 4.8%. There were no differences between those who passed and those who failed based on birth weight, birth GA, race, gender, Apgar scores, respiratory support requirements, magnesium exposure, corrected GA, or weight at the time of CSTS. Maternal urine toxicology positive for opiates was found to be a significant predictor of CSTS failure. Of the 9 subjects who failed, 2 had a specific diagnosis identified (Prader–Willi syndrome and long QT syndrome) after a failed CSTS prompted closer examination and workup before discharge.

CONCLUSIONS:

We found a similar incidence of failure for full-term LBW infants as has been previously reported for preterm infants. The infants who failed were more likely to have mothers who tested positive for opiates before delivery. Epidemiologic data are provided to help guide future CSTS policies and protocol development for this group.

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