Birth Hospital Length of Stay and Rehospitalization During COVID-19.

TitleBirth Hospital Length of Stay and Rehospitalization During COVID-19.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsHandley SC, Gallagher K, Breden A, Lindgren E, Lo JY, Son M, Murosko D, Dysart K, Lorch SA, Greenspan J, Culhane JF, Burris HH
Date Published2021 Dec 10

OBJECTIVES: To determine if birth hospitalization length of stay (LOS) and infant rehospitalization changed during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) era among healthy, term infants.

METHODS: Retrospective cohort study using Epic's Cosmos data from 35 health systems of term infants discharged ≤5 days of birth. Short birth hospitalization LOS (vaginal birth <2 midnights; cesarean birth <3 midnights) and, secondarily, infant rehospitalization ≤7 days after birth hospitalization discharge were compared between the COVID-19 (March 1 to August 31, 2020) and prepandemic eras (March 1 to August 31, 2017, 2018, 2019). Mixed-effects models were used to estimate adjusted odds ratios (aORs) comparing the eras.

RESULTS: Among 202 385 infants (57 110 from the COVID-19 era), short birth hospitalization LOS increased from 28.5% to 43.0% for all births (vaginal: 25.6% to 39.3%, cesarean: 40.1% to 61.0%) during the pandemic and persisted after multivariable adjustment (all: aOR 2.30, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.25-2.36; vaginal: aOR 2.12, 95% CI 2.06-2.18; cesarean: aOR 3.01, 95% CI 2.87-3.15). Despite shorter LOS, infant rehospitalizations decreased slightly during the pandemic (1.2% to 1.1%); results were similar in adjusted analysis (all: aOR 0.83, 95% CI 0.76-0.92; vaginal: aOR 0.82, 95% CI 0.74-0.91; cesarean: aOR 0.87, 95% CI 0.69-1.10). There was no change in the proportion of rehospitalization diagnoses between eras.

CONCLUSIONS: Short infant LOS was 51% more common in the COVID-19 era, yet infant rehospitalization within a week did not increase. This natural experiment suggests shorter birth hospitalization LOS among family- and clinician-selected, healthy term infants may be safe with respect to infant rehospitalization, although examination of additional outcomes is needed.

Alternate JournalPediatrics
PubMed ID34889449