Prematurity: It’s Complicated…
I am determined to bring attention, knowledge, and awareness to something that affects more than 500,000 infants each year!
Prematurity is not talked about as much as other life-threatening issues, but at 25%, premature birth is the number one cause of neonatal mortality. Although we have identified many risk factors associated with premature births, nearly 40% of these births have no known cause.
Due to being born so early, preemies can endure a lot of complications. The following is a short list of some of those complications that we experienced on our journey and that tend to affect preemies:
•Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA): A heart problem that is common in premature babies. Untreated, it can lead to heart failure.
•Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH): Bleeding into the brain’s ventricular system. This type of hemorrhage that is particularly common in premature and very low birth weight infants and can cause pressure in the brain and brain damage.
•Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP): Abnormal blood vessel development in the retina of the eye in a premature infant. In severe cases, such as that of Stevie Wonder, scarring and retina detachment cause vision loss.
•Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC): The death of intestinal tissue. NEC primarily affects premature infants or sick newborns and has a 20-30% mortality rate.
•More than 70% of premature babies are born between 34 and 36 weeks of gestation. Twelve percent are born between 32-33 weeks, 10% are born between 28-31 weeks, and 6% are born at less than 28 weeks.
Charlee and Lennix are that 6%.