About Mercy

Discharge Criteria

Mercy does not have specific weight criteria for discharge. Instead the baby must meet the following criteria:

  • Be able to keep his/her body temperature normal in an open crib
  • Be on complete breast and/or bottle feeds, taking in an adequate number of calories
  • Be gaining weight on all breast or bottle feeds
  • Not have any apnea spells (pauses in breathing) causing slow heart rate (bradycardia) or change in color. Your
    infant may be sent home on an apnea monitor if he or she is having short, self-limited apnea spells (no color change or
    severe bradycardias and not needing stimulation to breathe again)
  • Most babies are off oxygen when discharged, but some infants who will need oxygen for a long time are sent home on

The average premature baby meets these criteria about 2 to 4 weeks before their “due date”, but there are big individual differences. Hospital stays vary from a few days to many months. Infants who stay beyond their “due date” usually are infants who:

  • Were on breathing machines and oxygen the longest
  • Were born with malformations
  • Needed surgery
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1111 6th Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50314

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