School Outcome in Late Preterm Infants: A Cause for Concern

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The literature in neonatology is unique in its substantially greater emphasis on long-term outcome studies of newborn infants and young infants who have been exposed to novel therapies. These studies have provided invaluable data regarding the extended safety and efficacy of such therapies and have guided us in the management of vulnerable populations entrusted to our care. In the absence of long-term follow-up data, such as those related to the neurologic injury caused by prolonged postnatal dexamethasone treatment, adverse effects that take a long time to become apparent would have been harder to uncover. Needless to say, the growing brain and body are deceptively capable of keeping adverse effects masked until cognitive and motor functions can be meaningfully tested. It is only then that patterns of functional impairment that no longer fall under the bell-shaped curve become evident. There is an urgent need to validate these observations with prospectively collected data on short- and long-term outcomes of late-preterm infants, along with meticulous documentation of events leading to late preterm birth. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)




Jain, L. (2008, July). School Outcome in Late Preterm Infants: A Cause for Concern. Journal of Pediatrics, 153(1), 5–6.

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