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Implementation and Evaluation of a Home Gavage Program for Preterm Infants

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Purpose: To describe the implementation and evaluation of a home gavage program for preterm infants.

Design: Retrospective chart reviews were used to assess physiologic progress of infants, and retrospective written questionnaires were administered by mail to families participating in home gavage to assess their experience and solicit advice.

Sample: One hundred forty-three infants born at <37 weeks gestational age with a primary diagnosis of prematurity who met criteria for home gavage, of whom 52 were given home gavage and 91 attained full oral feedings in intensive care before discharge.

Main Outcome Variables: The safety of home gavage was evaluated by weight change and hospital readmission. Parental satisfaction was assessed by the mailed survey. Cost savings also were evaluated.

Results: Infants gained an average of 31 gm/day while receiving home gavage. No hospital readmissions were related to home gavage. Parents expressed satisfaction with the home gavage program. There was an average savings of $12,428 per infant related to shorter hospital stays.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2005

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