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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 113-115

Discharge against medical advice from Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: 10 years experience at a University Hospital

Department of Pediatrics, King Fahd Hospital of the University, Alkhobar, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Hatim K Al-Turkistani
PO Box 2208, Alkhobar 31952, College of Medicine, University of Dammam
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2230-8229.114774

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Background: Discharging patients against medical advice is a problem of every age-group. However, because of their physiological vulnerability, the risk for the neonatal population is greater when discharged against medical advice (DAMA). This article is a study of the prevalence of the problem, the possible causes and/or risk factors. Materials and Methods: A retrospective review of 10 years of medical records of neonates discharged against medical advice from a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at a university hospital. Results: The overall prevalence of DAMA was 1.6%. Most of the 51 infants who were taken out of hospital against medical advice (AMA) were term (72.5%) with a mean gestational age of 37.78 ± 2.5 weeks, of normal birth weight, with a mean of 2736 ± 661 g, Saudis (96%), those delivered vaginally (69%), and those that were provisionally diagnosed with transient tachypnea of newborn (TTN) and/or query sepsis (49%). There was no difference between males and females (M/F = 1.2). There was an association between DAMA and the timing of DAMA (27.5% of DAMA at weekends and 67% of DAMA from May to October). Conclusion: DAMA of neonates is particularly critical. The causes and risk factors are many and difficult to predict. In addition to several other factors, its prevalence is influenced negatively by some socio-cultural beliefs.

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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010