Primary care issues for the healthy premature infant

J Pediatr Health Care. 2006 Sep-Oct;20(5):293-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2006.01.002.


Premature infants born between 32 to 35 weeks' gestation have a 98% survival rate and comprise 84% of all preterm infants in the United States. These infants may have a relatively benign hospital course and may be considered by some to be a "healthy premature infant." At the time of discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit, infants will be gaining weight, feeding by mouth, and maintaining temperature homeostasis. Support of growth, feeding choices, management of gastroesophageal reflux, developmental issues, monitoring at home, and recommended special vaccinations are issues that primary care nurse practitioners will face in caring for preterm infants. This article is Part II of a three-part series focusing on the care of preterm infants after discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit. This installment will look specifically at preterm infants who are considered to be healthy preterm infants. Part I addressed issues related to all premature infants. Part III will focus on the primary care issues in medically complex premature infants.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aftercare / organization & administration
  • Apnea / therapy
  • Developmental Disabilities / therapy
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / therapy
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Food
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature* / physiology
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / therapy
  • Information Services
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Internet
  • Neonatal Nursing / organization & administration
  • Nurse Practitioners / organization & administration*
  • Patient Discharge
  • Pediatric Nursing / organization & administration*
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / therapy