Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2022) Australia's mothers and babies, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 04 February 2023.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2022). Australia's mothers and babies. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mothers-babies/australias-mothers-babies
Australia's mothers and babies. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 14 December 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mothers-babies/australias-mothers-babies
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Australia's mothers and babies [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2022 [cited 2023 Feb. 4]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mothers-babies/australias-mothers-babies
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2022, Australia's mothers and babies, viewed 4 February 2023, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mothers-babies/australias-mothers-babies
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Babies are admitted to a special care nursery (SCN) or neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) if they require more specialised medical care and treatment than is available on the postnatal ward. Data are limited to liveborn babies who were born in hospital and discharged home and may not include babies who were transferred between hospitals and then admitted to an SCN or NICU. Data exclude New South Wales and Western Australia.
Almost 1 in 5 (18%) babies required admission to SCN or NICU. Babies were more likely to require admission if they were born pre-term (79%), Indigenous (27%), of low birthweight (77%) or born as a twin (63%).
The data visualisation below presents data on the admission to SCN or NICU status of liveborn babies, by selected maternal and baby characteristics, for 2020. Click the trend button to see how data has changed over an 11-year period (where available).
The figure shows the proportion of liveborn babies by admission status to a special care nursery or neonatal intensive care unit by a range of factors for 2020. The figure also shows a line graph of trends in admission status between 2010 and 2020. In 2020, 18% or 30,833 liveborn babies were admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit or special care nursery.
Mothers were more likely to have a baby admitted to SCN or NICU if they were aged under 20 (25%), or 40 or older (22%), were Indigenous (29%), smoked during pregnancy (27%) or gave birth by caesarean section (25%).
The admission rate was also slightly higher among babies whose mothers lived in the most disadvantaged areas (21%) compared with those whose mothers lived in the least disadvantaged areas (15%).
For more information on admission to SCN or NICU see National Perinatal Data Collection annual update data table 3.19.
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