Friday, December 30, 2011
We watched many families go through the discharge process before it was our turn. My daughter spent two months in the Level 2 Special Care nursery where she was surrounded by babies who had much shorter stays. We quickly learned to watch for the signs that discharge was nearing. At our hospital every parent was required to take Infant CPR and go through Carseat Education and Installation. Babies had to pass a carseat test and go at least a week without any episodes. Parents who were taking babies home on monitors were sent to special trainings but our hospital has a "if you need a monitor you need to be in the NICU" policy so that was pretty rare. Our baby also had a final head ultrasound, hip ultrasound, and an OCRG as part of her discharge exams.

As with everything else NICU-related, this varies a lot from hospital to hospital. So we asked preemie moms to share their experiences about discharge tests and trainings. Here are their experiences.

What kind of tests, trainings, or evaluations did your NICU require of babies and parents before sending them home?

  • "We had to watch a CPR video and then be "quized" by the nurse."
  • "We received training on the medical equipment we were sent home with (oxygen concentrator and spare travel tanks and apnea monitor) as well as a course on infant CPR for us and our son's grandparents who babysit frequently."
  • "We had the eye test, hearing tests, and echocardiogram (our son has a murmer) in the last few days before discharge. The doctors scheduled all his tests for the same day, which really wore our baby out! I will never forget coming in after his eye test (the last test of the day) and seeing him in his bassinet, completely non-responsive to me (he was breathing and alive, just not happy or wakeable like normal) thinking he seemed like he'd lost the will to live. I would recommend having those tests not all scheduled back to back if you have any say in it."
  • "We were lucky to leave without monitors so we had Pharmacy Training, where the hospital pharmacist comes by to make sure you understand how to administer the babies medicines, CPR, baby basics class, and that's about it"
  • "We'd had to watch videos on CPR, shaken baby syndrome and something else prior to discharge (We saw them over the weekend since we knew the open air crib was a good sign). We had brief training on the apena monitor too. Other than that, nothing, not even a car seat test. We came in with the car seat, signed, the docs, and walked out of the hospital. It was kind of odd to be honest."
  • "Each baby had to pass a car seat test. And they both had a modified barium swallow shortly before discharge as well as MRI's to check on the resolution of their brain bleeds. DD was also evaluated by the hospital's developmental clinic prior to discharge and the therapist gave us things to work on at home while we waited on her EI eval."
  • "He had a hearing test and car seat test. We sign the okay for the hearing test when he was born and the car seat was brought in within 3 days of him leaving."
  • "Car seat test, hearing test (we failed the first one) and all her medical tests (Head US, ekg, EEG, heart US, blood work etc.)"
  • "Once a d/c date was set we have a hearing test, car seat test, and set up a visit by a home care nurse to check in and check his weight once he got home."


Precious and priceless so lovable too, the world’s sweetest littlest miracle is, a baby like you.

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