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Name of Media:

Going home: Facilitating discharge of the preterm infant


Ann L Jefferies; Canadian Paediatric Society, Fetus and Newborn Committee

Publisher or Source:

The Canadian Paediatric Society

Type of Media:

Medical Professional Education

Media Originally for:

Critical Care Physicians, Nurses and/or Other Critical Care Medical Professionals

Country of Origin:


Primary Focus of Media:

Pre-Use of PICS Designation

COVID-19 Related:



At the time of discharge home, parents of preterm infants in the neonatal intensive care unit often feel apprehensive and may question their ability to care for their baby. The well-planned, comprehensive discharge of a medically stable infant helps to ensure a positive transition to home and safe, effective care after discharge. This statement provides guidance in planning discharge of infants born before 34 weeks’ gestational age from tertiary and community settings. Discharge readiness is usually determined by demonstration of functional maturation, including the physiological competencies of thermoregulation, control of breathing, respiratory stability, and feeding skills and weight gain. Supporting family involvement and providing education from the time of admission improve parental confidence and decrease anxiety. Assessing the physical and psychosocial discharge environment is an important part of the discharge process. The clinical team is responsible for ensuring that appropriate investigations and screening tests have been completed, that medical concerns have been resolved and that a follow-up plan is in place at the time of discharge home.

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