ERIC Number: ED213518
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1982-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Prematurity: A Major Health Problem. Matrix No. 1.
Avery, Gordon B.
Premature birth (defined as delivery before 37 weeks gestation) and low birthweight (below 2,500 grams) are major health problems in the United States. Infants in these categories account for 75 per cent of neonatal deaths and 50 per cent of deaths in the first year of life. Survivors contribute disproportionately to the pool of handicapped children who require rehabilitative care and may never be competitive individuals. Research advances and the availability of perinatal intensive care have resulted in vastly improved survival in the past decade. The weight at which roughly half the babies survive has dropped from 1300 to about 800 grams. Better care also has been associated with a better quality of life for the survivors. The vast majority of prematures greater than 1000 grams birthweight can be expected to survive, and mean IQ values of premature infants at this weight approach those of the general population. The group below 1000 grams birthweight does not participate fully in this improved prognosis. Below 750 grams, less than half survive, and a considerable number of the survivors have serious health problems. (In conclusion, 10 research areas are identified in which progress is desired.) (Author/RH)
Descriptors: High Risk Persons, Improvement, Intervention, Medical Services, Premature Infants, Primary Health Care, Research Needs
Administration for Children, Youth, and Families, P.O. Box 1182, Washington, DC 20013 (no price quoted).
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Administration for Children, Youth, and Families (DHHS), Washington, DC. Research, Demonstration, and Evaluation Div.