Date of Paper/Work

12-2011

Type of Paper/Work

Scholarly project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Nursing

Department

Nursing

Advisor(s)

Gay Varecka

Abstract

Premature birth has been a well-known phenomenon for many years. The survival of preterm infants has greatly improved, in particular, the infants that are born at less than 1,000 grams. The challenges accompanying the birth of an infant weighing less than 1,000 grams are numerous and include such things as respiratory failure due to surfactant insufficiency, patent ductus arteriosus, intraventricular hemorrhage, renal failure, retinopathy of prematurity, apnea of prematurity, necrotizing enterocolitis, sepsis, and death. As a result, cerebral palsy is a frequent long term outcome (Papageorgiou, Pelausa, & Kovacs 2005). Apnea of prematurity is a condition due to developmental immaturity and was first acknowledged in the late 1960’s. Treatment for apnea of prematurity has included mechanical ventilation, theophylline, aminophylline, and most recently caffeine citrate. Recently, it has been noted that there has been a decrease in the incidence of cerebral palsy among extremely low birth weight infants treated with caffeine citrate. Because of the long term benefits of caffeine citrate, it is the drug of choice for treatment of apnea of prematurity (Johnson, 2011).

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