Low birth weight infants

Approximately 20 million children born annually weighing less than 2500 gm and constitute 15.5% of all births.

Infants with low birth weight who are born preterm, or small for their gestational age, or both constitute 70% of all neonatal deaths.

96% of all such infants born are in developing countries.

Associated with perinatal and infant mortality, chronic diseases, stunting of growth, diabetes and coronary heart disease.

30% of infants with a birth weight of less than 1 kg who survive initial hospitalization develop chronic lung disease.

Reported association between impaired fetal growth and elevated cholesterol levels later in life is probably not significant.

Are at increased risk for the development of coronary heart disease.

For infants born before 28 weeks of gestation there are one more major impairments including cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, deafness, or blindness in approximately 40% of infants.

Staphylococcus aureus is a leading cause of healthcare associated infections in neonatal ICU’s.

Up to 3.7% of very low birth weight infants in NICUs develop S aureus bacteremia or meningitis, with an overall mortality of 10-25%.

Kangaroo mother care is defined as continuous skin to skin contact of the infant with the chest of the mother,  or another caregiver when not possible with the mother, and feeding exclusively with breastmilk, is an effective intervention for preventing death in infants of low birth weight.
Among infants with birthweight between 1 and 1.799 kg, those who receive the media kangaroo mother care had lower mortality at 28 days and those received conventional care with kangaroo mother care initiated after stabilization (WHO KMC Study group).

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