Prematurity

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Term birth is defined as occurring at 38-42 postmenstrual weeks. Premature birth may the outcome of preterm labour, or else intervention in a pregnancy for maternal or fetal indications eg pre-eclampsia, intrauterine growth retardation. A number of complications can be expected at birth:

There are also a number of important conditions associated with prematurity:

Outcomes of prematurity include:

Prognosis

This has much improved since the 1990s with the availability of exogenous surfactant. Treatment with this is now commenced early[1]. Currently in the first world 90% of those born at 28 weeks' gestation survive to discharge. However there is increasing evidence of increased risk in these survivors by young adulthood of:

References