Content from MedPage Today -- NICU Admission Not Universal for Tiny Babies

Nearly one in four very low birth weight babies are not admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit at birth, according to a new CDC report.

Although NICU admission reduces mortality risk for babies under 3.3 pounds at birth, only 77.3 percent of such infants were admitted in 2006, Wanda D. Barfield, MD, and colleagues at the CDC in Atlanta, reported in the Nov. 12 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Wide variability was seen among the 19 states that provided NICU admission data as part of a change to birth certificates--ranging from a high of 93.4 percent in North Dakota to a low of 63.7 percent in California.

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