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complications in premature babies

Can you compare and contrast the different types of challenges faced by premature babies, post mature babies, SGA (small for gestational age) babies, and LGA (large for gestational age) babies?

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1. Challenges faced by premature babies

There are a number of complications that are more likely in premature than full-term babies:

? Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS): About 23,000 babies a year (most of whom were born before the 34th week of pregnancy) suffer from this breathing problem (11). Babies with RDS lack a protein called surfactant that keeps small air sacs in the lungs from collapsing.
? Apnea: Premature babies sometimes stop breathing for 20 seconds or more. This interruption in breathing is called apnea, and it may be accompanied by a slow heart rate. Premature babies are constantly monitored for apnea. If the baby stops breathing, a nurse stimulates the baby to start breathing by patting him or touching the soles of his feet.
? Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH): Bleeding in the brain occurs in some premature babies. Those born before about 32 weeks of pregnancy are at highest risk. The bleeds usually occur in the first 3 days of life and generally are diagnosed with an ultrasound. Most brain bleeds are mild and resolve themselves with no or few lasting problems. More severe bleeds can affect the substance of the brain or cause the fluid-filled structures (ventricles) in the brain to expand rapidly. These severe bleeds can cause pressure on the brain that can lead to brain damage (such as cerebral palsy and learning and behavioral problems). When fluid persists in the ventricles, neurosurgeons may insert a tube into the brain to drain the fluid and reduce the risk of brain damage.
? Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA): PDA is a heart problem that is common in premature babies. Before birth, a large artery called the ductus arteriosus lets blood bypass the lungs because the ...

Solution Summary

Identify complications in premature babies. References are also provided to further validate the findings.