Around 60 per cent of babies admitted to neonatal care are born at full term, i.e. at 37 weeks’ gestation or above. This equates to around 60,000 babies a year across the UK.
There are a variety of reasons why full term babies need to be cared for on a neonatal unit.
According to an NHS England programme, which looked at reducing the number of term admissions on to a neonatal unit, the five most common reasons were:
- Respiratory conditions (about 25 per cent of all admissions)
- Infection (about 18 per cent of all admissions)
- Hypoglycaemia - this is where a baby has low levels of glucose in their blood (almost 12 per cent of all admissions)
- Jaundice (around 6 per cent of all admissions)
- 81 per cent of these babies received phototherapy
- 33 per cent received intravenous fluids
- 1.6 per cent received a blood transfusion.
- Asphyxia (HIE) (3 per cent of all admissions)
Read more about the Bliss-supported NHS England programme to reduce avoidable term baby admissions onto neonatal units.