Oded Preis MD Neonatology DrMDK.com
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Host: The word 'prematurity', what does that mean? Dr. Oded Preis: A baby that's born earlier than it's time, usually babies who are born under 37 weeks of gestation, full gestation is 40 weeks is regarded as a premature infant. A baby that I took care of weight wise it was 400 gm baby which is about a pound. In general a baby who born at limit of viability which is about 24 weeks have a potential survival and the most Neonatalogists will have experience with having worked with such small babies. Host: This term that we use small for date baby should be a very small baby and sometimes if you don't have the history of how many weeks of gestation and you have to see a baby what will make you think this is a premature baby or a small to date baby just by your examination. Dr. Oded Preis: There are certain characteristics that babies have at birth that can help us date the amount of time that they have spent in the womb and allow us to estimate their gestation, basically by physical criteria, their behavioral pattern and what we call neurological developments and if there is a discrepancy between the maturity and the size of the baby and there are certain physical criteria that are typical for babies who are relatively smaller than what their actual gestation is , these are going to be the babies that we will call as small for date babies. Host: A Premature baby basically doesn't have like any lines on the soles sometimes and the cartilage, is that well formed? Dr Oded Pries: Well some of the physical characteristics of the external features such as maturation of the skin, the rugation of the skin, such as creases in the palms and the soles, the real development of cartilage, the amount of baby or fetal hair that still exist or present at birth that tends to regress with maturation what we call Lanugo, the degree of presence of those and a lot of these other characteristics will help us ascertain more or less the gestation of the baby as well as other maturational factors such as reflexes, muscle tone and so on.