TORONTO, Aug. 10 ( – A new study which tracked “the health records of 7,009 babies born at a Toronto-area hospital,” has found that infants discharged from hospital after only two days “are nearly twice as likely to be sick and readmitted within their first month than infants who stay in hospital longer,” reports The Globe and Mail today. According to the study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, children released after only two days tend to “reappear in hospital within their first month of life with jaundice,  dehydration or infections, often of the respiratory system.”

But, the CMAJ report is not the first to flag problems with early discharges in Canada, said the G&M. “In 1995, another Toronto-area study found readmission rates among infants discharged early jumped to 20.7 from 12.9 per thousand.” The trend, though, is driven not only by the medical establishment, but also by mothers who, the G&M states, “increasingly see childbirth as a non-medical procedure that should require as short a hospital stay as possible, which has led to the increasing popularity of birthing centres and midwives.” The study simply observes an association between early discharge and readmission; it cannot prove a correlation.