The occurrence of premature birth depends on many causes, which may be divided into those resulting in the expulsion of a healthy premature infant, and those which have a damaging effect on the product of conception. In the first class may be included various injuries, falls, heavy lifting, overwork, or other physical exhaustion and sudden emotional disturbances. Premature rupture of the membranes, either accidental or intentional, occurring in conditions which do not affect the nutrition of the ovum, as in pelvic and spinal deformity in the mother and in placenta praevia, also may be included.
The conditions that fall within the second category all react to a greater or lesser degree on the fetus, some producing only momentary weakness, as the milder acute infections, and others causing a weakened physical condition as a result of their long-continued action on the nutrition and development of the fetus.
In our group of
HESS JH, CHAMBERLAIN IM. PREMATURE INFANTS: A REPORT OF TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SIX CONSECUTIVE CASES. Am J Dis Child. 1927;34(4):571–584. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1927.04130220049006
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