Date of Paper/Work

4-2011

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Nursing

Department

Nursing

Advisor(s)

Gay Varecka

Abstract

Osteopenia of prematurity is a metabolic bone disease affecting neonates born during the second trimester of pregnancy and classified as very low birth weight, or less than 1500 grams at birth. Improvements in neonatal nutrition have reduced osteopenia of prematurity by increasing available calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin D for bone mineralization. Ossification also requires the presence of adequate bone matrix for mineralization to be completed. Passive mechanical stimulation such as joint compression replicates the resistance and weight bearing movements of the fetus in utero. Fetal osteoprogenitor cells are signaled to develop into osteoblasts, thus creating bone matrix which can then be mineralized. Research into the effects of passive physical exercise with joint compression on the prevention of osteopenia of prematurity are compared and discussed to ascertain recommendations for future implementation and considerations.

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