Prematurity is often a significant cause of infant mortality. Improvements in knowledge and medical techniques have increased the survival rate of preterm newborns. Many preterm patients have medical, developmental, or behavioural problems that continue into childhood, or are permanent. The more premature and lower the birth weight, the greater the risk of complications; however, it is not possible to predict long-term outcomes in terms of gestational age or birth weight.
The most frequent long-term complications are:
- Problems relating to the development and maturation of the lungs, known as bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD).
- Delayed growth.
- Neurosensory or mental delay or disability, and behavioural disorders.
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