Care of the Premature Infant Right After Birth
At birth, the Reference premature infant Opens New Window is immediately:
- Moved onto a nearby bed with an overhead radiant heater.
- Dried off to prevent chilling (hypothermia).
- Assessed for heart rate, breathing, and color, which determine the initial medical interventions required.
If the infant is having trouble breathing:
- The airway may be cleared (suctioned).
- The lungs may be expanded using a bag and mask, which blows air into the lungs.
- Oxygen may be blown over the infant's face, given by face mask, or in some cases, given through a tube in the throat (intubation).
- An Reference umbilical catheter Opens New Window may be inserted into the umbilical cord stump to provide fluids and/or medicines Reference intravenously Opens New Window.
If the infant has no Reference pulse Opens New Window, the heart may be stimulated with:
- Chest compressions (gently pressing on the infant's chest).
- Medicine, if 30 seconds of compressions are not effective. If medicine and compressions do not successfully stimulate a viable heart rate after 15 to 20 minutes, resuscitation is stopped.
As soon as heart rate and breathing are stable, the infant is moved to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: April 14, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference John Pope, MD - Pediatrics