Study Suggests Early Discharge
of Premature Infants Can Be Safe, Advantageous
Early discharge and home care may speed development of preterm babies.
Preliminary results of an ongoing study of early discharge of premature
infants, presented during the annual Society for Pediatric Research meeting
in Washington, D.C., on May 10, suggest that case management and home care
may allow for safe discharge at four pounds, rather than the traditional
The study, led by Eric Gibson, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at
Jefferson, compares the birth and discharge weights, length of hospital
stay, home nursing service duration, home weight gain per day and home care
cost of preterm babies discharged at four pounds with those discharged at
four-and-a-half. Both groups received nursing and neonatologist care, cardiorespiratory
monitoring, support for medication, nasogastric feeds and thermoregulation,
with the early discharged babies treated at home under a physician's supervision.
Thus far, findings show that early discharge is not only safe, but beneficial
to preterm infants. "This study demonstrates that babies can be safely
discharged at four pounds and even grow faster at home because their weight
gain is greater," says Dr. Gibson.
In addition to promoting the development of the preterm infants, shortened
hospital stays save hospital days and lower costs. "Hospital charges
saved on the study group total $9,000 per infant, demonstrating yet another
advantage of early discharge," says Dr. Gibson.
Penny Wise Thrift Shop Reopens
The Penny Wise Thrift Shop of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, 57-59
E. Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, will reopen for consignment only on Wednesday,
August 28, and for the season on Tuesday, September 3.
For further information, call the Penny Wise Thrift Shop at 610-642-7239.
The first paragraph of the July 1, 1996 JeffNEWS article, "Study Suggests
Excision and Surveillance Alone Successfully Treat Noninvasive Breast Cancer,"
erroneously refers to women with locally advanced breast cancer. In fact,
this was not a study of women with locally advanced breast cancer. This
paragraph should, therefore, read:
"A new study of women with in situ (noninvasive) ductal breast cancer
reveals that excision and surveillance alone are a treatment alternative
to mastectomy or irradiation. Results of the study were presented at the
32nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Philadelphia
on May 21." Please refer to the July 1, 1996 JeffNEWS for additional
Admissions for 12 months of this fiscal year (July ­p; June) were 25,976
or 5.6 percent below last year. In addition, the average length of stay
for the hospital was only 6.1 days, which is a half day below the prior
year. Patient days are another critical indicator of the need to save costs
since approximately one half of the insurers now pay a daily rate. The hospital's
patient days for this period total 157,819 or 24,018 less than last year,
reports Walter E. Moore, assistant executive hospital director for fiscal