Anesthesia Considerations in a Premie
A preterm infant is one born prior to 37 weeks of gestation. According to a 2015 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, one out of every ten infants born in the United States was a preterm infant. Even though there have been dramatic declines in the infant mortality rate due to better obstetric care and significant advances in neonatal intensive care units, death from prematurity is a leading cause of infant mortality. This infant mortality rate is inversely proportional to gestational age, but recent studies have shown that there is a slight improvement in the survival rates of the early preterm infants with an associated decrease in their neurodevelopmental impairment (Younge et al., N Engl J Med 376:617–628, 2017). The premature infants (“preemies”) who survive have a high likelihood of requiring a variety of surgical procedures. Caring for a preterm neonate poses an anesthetic challenge not only due to the infant’s size, but also due to incomplete organogenesis and immature physiology.
KeywordsPreemie Extremely low birth weight Post-operative apnea Retinopathy of prematurity Patent ductus arteriosus Respiratory distress syndrome Intraventricular hemorrhage
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