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Clinical Crossroads Update
September 25, 2002

A Woman With an Extremely Premature Infant, 18 Months Later

Author Affiliations

From the Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Ave, LY318, Boston, MA 02215.

JAMA. 2002;288(12):1522. doi:10.1001/jama.288.12.1522

At Obstetrics and Gynecology Grand Rounds in February 2001, Douglas K. Richardson, MD, MBA, discussed the care of a very premature infant.1 Noelle was born at 25 weeks' gestation. Her course included low Apgar scores, respiratory distress syndrome, parenteral nutrition, surgery for severe necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), and mild retinopathy of prematurity.

Dr Richardson identified the elements of Noelle's course that were markers of good prognosis and reviewed the current issues and controversies surrounding care of extremely premature infants like her. He recommended that Noelle continue to receive regular pediatric care and that her parents enrich her life, stating, "Read to her, talk to her, take her out in the world. Enjoy her company. Love her. This is the strongest possible treatment for a growing child."1

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