Premature vs. other causes for NICU babies

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Premature vs. other causes for NICU babies

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In the Neonatal Intensive Care, 70% of babies are premature. The other 30% are babies who have difficulty transitioning from the womb to the air environment, and so it would be term infants when they have difficulty eating or breathing and sometimes will need to be observed in a more controlled environment. And some babies are babies who have more significant problems, sometimes anomalies, congenital anomalies, sometimes severe respiratory issues. But in general most babies in the NICU are pre-term infants. Babies will stay in the NICU depending on many factors. One of the factors is how small or premature they are. Premature babies will tend to stay in the NICU for as long as they were supposed to be inside the womb of their mother and sometimes +- a few weeks depending on the individual baby. The other babies may stay for a very short period of time. Sometimes it's only a question of 1-2 hours just to see that they are doing well after birth. And for some it may be very different depending on their disease. But for the most part, some babies stay for as long as they were supposed to stay in the womb if they were premature.

Watch Philippe Friedlich, MD's video on Premature vs. other causes for NICU babies...

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Philippe Friedlich, MD

Neonatologist

Philippe Friedlich, MD, MS Epi, MBA is the Associate Director and Division Chief of the Center for Fetal and Neonatal Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, as well as the Medical Director of the hospital’s Newborn & Infant Critical Care Unit (NICCU). Dr. Friedlich is a professor of Pediatrics and Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.   

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