The transition of late preterm
© De Carolis et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014
Published: 9 October 2014
The transition from the intra- to the extra-uterine life is characterized by major physiological changes in respiratory and hemodynamic functions ; moreover, the intrauterine thermostability has to been replaced by the neonatal termoregulation . Many of the antepartum and intrapartum risk factors associated with the need of resuscitation may be present in late-preterm neonates (340/7-366/7 weeks) . It is also reported a double risk of Caesarean Section (CS) in case of late-preterm compared to term deliveries . Our objective was to evaluate the transition period in late-preterm infants in particular considering the need for resuscitation and the incidence of hypothermia.
Materials and methods
This was a retrospective study of all late preterm neonates during a 1-year period from January 2013. Gestational Age (GA) was calculated as a function of the date of last menstrual period and/or biometrics assigned from the ultrasound measurement of the first trimester. Type of pregnancy (singleton or multiple), use of antepartum steroid therapy, maternal medical disorders, obstetric and/or fetal complications, intrapartum fetal distress, birth weight (BW), gender, Apgar score, need for resuscitation were collected from medical records Rectal temperature was measured in all neonates at birth and at admission to nursery.
Neonatal characteristics by gestational age group
Gestational age (weeks+days of gestation)
Singletons, n (%)
Multiples, n (%)
Vaginal Delivery, n (%)
Caesarean-section, n (%)
1 min Apgar , mean (DS)
7 ± 2
8 ± 1
9 ± 1
1 min Apgar <7, n (%)
5-min Apgar, mean (DS)
9 ± 1
9 ± 1
9 ± 1
5-min Apgar <7, n (%)
Positive Pressure Ventilation, n (%)
Endotracheal Intubation, n (%)
Late-preterm birth by CS is associated with significant GA-dependent neonatal depression. Additional close monitoring and timely intervention are necessary in the management of these infants in DR.
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