Variation in car seat tolerance screen performance in newborn nurseries

Natalie L. Davis, Benjamin D. Hoffman, Eric C. Eichenwald

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Currently, car seat tolerance screens (CSTSs) are recommended for all infants born prematurely in the United States. Although many late-preterm infants are cared for exclusively in newborn nurseries (NBNs), data on implementation of CSTS in nurseries are limited. Our objective for this study was to determine management strategies and potential variation in practice of CSTS in NBNs across the nation. METHODS: We surveyed NBNs across 35 states using the Better Outcomes through Research for Newborns (BORN) network to determine what percentage perform CSTSs, inclusion and failure criteria, performance characteristics, follow-up of failed CSTSs including use of car beds, and provider attitudes toward CSTS. RESULTS: Of the 84 NBNs surveyed, 90.5% performed predischarge CSTSs. The most common failure criteria were saturation,90%, bradycardia,80 beats per minute, and apnea.20 seconds. More than 55% noted hypotonia as an additional inclusion criterion for testing, and.34% tested any infant who had ever required supplemental oxygen. After an initial failed CSTS,.93% of NBNs retested in a car seat at a future time point, whereas only ∼1% automatically discharged infants in a car bed. When asked which infants should undergo predischarge CSTS, the most common recommendations by survey respondents included infants with hypotonia (83%), airway malformations (78%), hemodynamically significant congenital heart disease (63%), and prematurity (61%). CONCLUSIONS: There is a large degree of variability in implementation of CSTS in NBNs across the United States. Further guidance on screening practices and failure criteria is needed to inform future practice and policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere20193593
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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