Late-Preterm Babies Needing ICU Catch Up With Other Preemies
The need for neonatal intensive care may not make a difference in long-term prospects for babies born late in the preterm period, according to new research.
While this may be reassuring to parents of preemies, Dr. Rick Stafford, Director of Neonatology at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y., says, "My biggest worry is that this study would be interpreted as, 'Look, these late-preterm infants are all OK. It doesn't matter whether they were in the NICU or not; they're fine!'"
Stafford added, "They are not fine and their numbers are growing. We know that these babies are probably more at risk for developmental problems than healthy, full-term babies."
Stafford noted that the developmental testing used in this study isn't as sensitive for picking up problems as other tests.
The bottom line for parents of children born at late preterm, said Campbell, is that they still need to pay extra attention and be vigilant for signs of difficulties that their children may experience.
Find out about the NICU Support Group at NWH. Groups meet weekly.
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