To determine the factors associated with nonacute presentation to the emergency department (ED) by infants less than 14 days of age.
A prospective survey was conducted in the pediatric ED of a teaching hospital providing voluntary in-home follow-up for families discharged within 48 hours of delivery. Participants were families of infants less than 14 days of age presenting to the ED over a 1-year period. The main outcome measure was acuteness of presenting problem. Presenting problems were classified as nonacute if the following 4 criteria were met: (i) no physician referral; (ii) nonurgent triage code assigned by a triage nurse; (iii) no investigations performed in the ED; and (iv) discharge home.
Of the 142 eligible infants, 70 (49%) infants presented with nonacute problems. Ninety-two (65%) returned questionnaires. There was no significant difference in the proportion of nonacute problems between infants discharged at less than 48 hours of age and those discharged at more than 48 hours (P = 0.7). The proportion of nonacute problems among infants of primiparous mothers was significantly higher (64%) than among infants of multiparous mothers (24%) (P