Leave against medical advice from SNCU of a teaching hospital in Garhwal, Uttarakhand, India


  • Rakesh Kumar Department of Pediatrics, Veer Chandra Singh Garhwali Government Institute of Medical Science and Research, Garhwal, Uttarakhand, India




DAMA, Garhwal, LAMA, Neonate, SNCU


Background: Patients who leave against medical advice (LAMA) is a universal problem. Neonates being unable to decide for their own, are dependent on parents for all decisions for their treatment. LAMA is a sensitive issue in neonatology practice with ethical and medico legal ramifications. This study was done to evaluate the factors associated with the decision of LAMA by care givers in our special newborn care unit (SNCU).

Methods: This is a retrospective hospital based observational study and was conducted in SNCU of HNB Base Teaching Hospital, Srinagar, Garhwal. Data pertaining to LAMA between 1st August 2017 and 31st July 2018 was retrieved. Information obtained included place of birth, gestational age, weight, diagnoses, duration of hospital stay and reasons for LAMA. Data were entered into a Microsoft Excel Spread Sheet and analyzed using software. Graph Pad Prism v 7.04. Chi-Square test was used to test for significant difference among various groups.

Results: Out of 689 neonates admitted in SNCU during the study period, 167 (24.24%) took LAMA. Male to female ratio of 1:1.1. 102 (61%) were inborn and 65 (39%) were out born. Term babies constituted 62.87%. 78.44% neonates were discharged within 7 days of admission. 58 (34.73%) neonates had sepsis and 30 (17.96%) had birth asphyxia. The commonest reason in 25.15% for taking LAMA was to take the neonate to better equipped facility followed by false perception that the baby is well enough to be discharged.

Conclusions: Multiple factors contribute for getting a neonate discharged against medical advice. Improvement of infrastructure, training of health care staff for proper counselling, sensitivity and empathy towards neonate and the care givers can decrease the rate of LAMA.


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