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Premature Infant - The Sick Premature Infant

Many premature infants are resilient and surprise everyone by overcoming great odds. Expect that your infant can progress for several days but may then have a medical setback.

Premature infants are more likely than others to get an infection. And organs that have not had time to mature can cause a number of problems.

The more premature a newborn is, the greater is the baby's risk of having medical problems.

Infants born at 23 to 26 weeks' gestation are extremely underdeveloped and have a much higher risk of death or disability. Parents of these infants are likely to be faced with difficult medical decisions. Infants who have reached their 32nd week of development before birth are less at risk than those who are born earlier.

Babies born at 34 to almost 37 weeks' gestation are called late preterm infants. Although they are not as likely to have as many problems as infants who are born earlier, they are at risk for breathing problems, high blood pressure in the lungs, and other short-term and long-term problems.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: January 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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