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Optimizing Care and Outcomes for Late Preterm Neonates

Opinion statement

The goal of this review is to define gestational age categories and discuss the epidemiology, complications, strategies for prevention, and management of late preterm infants. Late preterm (i.e., 34 to 36 weeks of gestation) birth is prevalent (8.0% of all live births in the USA in 2013) and is associated with increased infant mortality and morbidity. Although most late preterm births are medically indicated, elective early delivery plays a role. Policies limiting elective births at gestations less than 39 weeks and guidance for timing of indicated late preterm birth have reduced late preterm births. Late preterm neonates frequently require neonatal intensive care and should be monitored throughout life for developmental, educational, psychosocial, and medical morbidities. Prevention of late preterm births is key to reduction in mortality and morbidity. Continued prevention efforts and implementation of best practices may decrease acute and long-term complications of late preterm birth.

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Correspondence to William A. Engle MD.

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Rebecca Rose declares that she has no conflict of interest.

William A. Engle declares that he has no conflict of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Neonatology

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Rose, R., Engle, W.A. Optimizing Care and Outcomes for Late Preterm Neonates. Curr Treat Options Peds 3, 32–43 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40746-017-0074-z

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40746-017-0074-z

Keywords

  • Late preterm
  • Morbidity
  • Mortality
  • Prevention
  • Readmission