How Little Is Too Little For A Baby's Safety? UT Southwestern Researchers Shed New Light On Size And Morbidity/Mortality In Newborns

mortality are significantly greater or whether that threshold varies at different developmental stages," Bloom said. "We suspect that the tenth percentile is too high a threshold because too many babies normally destined to have lower birth weights are included instead of just those who are small due to problems with the pregnancy."

Because the serious problems common in term and pre-term infants differ, the researchers worked out appropriate standards for the two groups. Among the indications of trouble in the term babies were a need for a mechanical ventilator, low Apgar scores, infection and seizures.

Pre-term infants, who face special difficulties because of delivery before development is complete, were monitored for respiratory failure, intracranial hemorrhaging and the necessity of intestinal surgery.

"Normal"-sized babies were used for comparison to the two groups.


Contact: Ann Harrell
UT Southwestern Medical Center

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