Objectives: To determine whether the rehospitalisation and primary care requirements of infants with chronic lung disease (CLD) during the first two years after birth were influenced by a requirement for supplementary oxygen after discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit. Methods: Review of records from both the hospital and general practitioner. Patients: 235 infants, median gestational age 27 (range 22–31) weeks, 88 of whom were receiving supplementary oxygen when discharged home. Results: Overall, the infants required a median of 2 (range 0–20) admissions per patient, 8 (0–41) outpatient attendances, 13 (0–76) contacts with the general practitioner, and 17 (0–169) consultations with other primary healthcare professionals. The home oxygen patients required significantly more and longer admissions (p < 0.01) and more outpatient attendances (p < 0.05). The total cost of care per infant of the home oxygen group was greater (p < 0.001); this reflected higher costs for hospital stay (p < 0.01), total inpatient care (p < 0.01), and primary care drugs (p < 0.01). Conclusion: Despite routine use of antenatal steroids and postnatal surfactant, certain patients with CLD, particularly those who receive home oxygen treatment, show high rates of utilisation of health service resources after discharge from the neonatal care unit.
Greenough, A., Alexander, J., Burgess, S., Chetcuti, P., Cox, S., Lenney, W., Turnbull, F., Shaw, N. J., Woods, A., Boorman, J., Coles, S., & Turner, J. (2002). Home oxygen status and rehospitalisation and primary care requirements of infants with chronic lung disease. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 86(1), 40-43. https://doi.org/10.1136/adc.86.1.40