About Lifelong Learning - Contact Us - DonateFree-Ed.Net Home   Bookmark and Share

Return to
List of  Lessons

2-21. Premature Births

A newborn is considered premature if it weighs less than 5.5 pounds (2.3 kilograms) or if the child is born before the completion of seven months of pregnancy. Characteristically, this child is smaller, thinner, and redder than a full-term baby. His head will be relatively larger than that of a full-term baby. Keep the following in mind when you are assisting in a premature delivery:

a. Keep the newborn warm. Maintaining his body temperature is very important. Wrap the baby in a warm blanket or a makeshift incubator. A makeshift incubator could be aluminum foil wrapped around the baby, leaving the face uncovered.

b. Keep the baby's mouth and throat clear of fluids and mucus. Do this by using a bulb syringe to keep the baby's nose and mouth clear of fluid.

c. See that the newborn's umbilical cord is not bleeding. The smallest amount of bleeding may be serious for premature infants.

d. Give oxygen to the baby. DO NOT blow oxygen in a stream directly over the baby's face. The oxygen flow should be low--less than four liters per minute.

e. Ensure that the infant is not contaminated. Premature infants are very susceptible to infection. Wear a surgical gown and mask. Also, keep people (except for your assistant, if you have one) away from the infant.

David L. Heiserman, Editor

Copyright   SweetHaven Publishing Services
All Rights Reserved

Revised: June 06, 2015