Time to address the knowledge gaps for late preterm birth

2018-06-14T14:50:44Z (GMT) by Elaine Boyle
Late preterm babies, born between 34+0 and 36+6 weeks of gestation, account for around 6-7% of all births and for three quarters of all preterm births. It is perhaps surprising therefore that for years, such a large population of babies, has been regarded with a degree of disinterest by clinicians. However, the large majority appear well at birth, spend only a short time in hospital compared with their very preterm counterparts, and for the most part do not cause anxiety for neonatologists and paediatricians; in addition, many do well in the long term. Their larger size and apparent maturity, and presumed good outcomes have all led to these babies being managed postnatally in much the same way as those born at term.

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