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Guidelines developed for extremely premature infants at NCH proven to be life-changing
Date:10/31/2012

ildren who, while they have had many challenges, can ultimately lead a normal life," said Dr. Shepherd, also an assistant professor of Clinical Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. "If you treat patients as if they do not have a chance for survival, these patients don't do as well as they could. Our approach was that each and every one of these infants has enormous potential for a normal outcome and for a satisfying life."

In addition to improving survival rates, this study showed that treating babies with this unique approach leads to shorter hospital stays. While small babies often go on to develop infections, necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) and/or bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), by following these guidelines, babies are recovering from these diagnoses and improving their developmental outcomes leading to an earlier discharge. "This is a real win-win; a shorter stay means parents get to take their child home sooner and it saves an enormous amount of resources," said Dr. Shepherd.

Part of the success of the Small Baby Guidelines is due to the multidisciplinary approach to treating these infants. The specialized care team includes everyone from physicians and nurses to cardiologists and nutritionists. The goal of this multidisciplinary approach is that every member of the team should understand the goals, the expectations and the gold standard of care so this can be achieved in each patient.

While there is still a need for new approaches to prevent the many illnesses premature infants face when entering the world too soon, physicians and researchers at Nationwide Children's continue to study ways to prevent illnesses seen in premature infants and the cause of prematurity.


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Contact: Erin Pope
Erin.Pope@NationwideChildrens.org
614-355-0495
Nationwide Children's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert  

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Guidelines developed for extremely premature infants at NCH proven to be life-changing
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