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The High-Risk Infant Is Going Home: What Now?

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EACH YEAR APPROXIMATELY 460,000 infants—nearly 12 percent of all babies born in the U.S.—are born prematurely.1 Technological advances in the medical and nursing care of premature infants over the past decade have increased survival rates among preterm newborns, especially of very low birth weight (VLBW) infants. Survival rates are as high as 49 percent for infants weighing 501–750 gm at birth, 85 percent for infants weighing 751–1,000 gm, 93 percent for infants weighing 1,001–1,250 gm, and 96 percent for infants weighing 1,251–1,500 gm.2 Although 50–60 percent of VLBW infants have normal outcomes, morbidity rates range from 40 to 50 percent.3 Because of this incidence of morbidity, premature infants require comprehensive primary care follow-up after discharge from the NICU.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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