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Home visits by a nurse during the first 10 days of an infant's life may eliminate the need for hospital readmission, new research has found. The most common reasons for newborn readmissions are jaundice and dehydration.
In the study, researchers looked at the medical records of almost 3,000 children born at Hershey Medical Center in Pennsylvania. Of those children, 326 received a home visit by a nurse a few days after discharge.
Statistically, only 0.6% of children who received a nurse home visit were readmitted to the hospital in the first 10 days after birth, compared with about 3% of children who didn't receive a nurse home visit. And the average cost per child among those visited by a nurse was just $109.80, compared with $118.70 for those who weren't visited.
Despite the health and economic benefits of nurse home visits for newborns, however, the researchers say that they're underused-even when insurance companies pay for them.
Cost-effectiveness of postnatal home nursing visits for prevention of hospital care for jaundice and dehydration, Pediatrics, IM Paul, et al., October 2004.
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