Care of the Premature Infant Right After Birth
At birth, the
premature infant is immediately:
- Moved onto a nearby bed with an overhead radiant
- Dried off to prevent chilling
- 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
umbilical catheter may be inserted into the umbilical
cord stump to provide fluids and/or medicines
If the infant has no
pulse, the heart may be stimulated with:
- Chest compressions (gently pressing on the
- 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).
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||John Pope, MD - Pediatrics|
|Last Revised||April 14, 2011|