The Golden Hour and Intraventricular Hemorrhage
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Low birth weight and extremely premature infants, especially those under 32 weeks gestation, have a significantly greater incidence of morbidity and mortality than those infants born greater than 37 weeks gestation. With concise and well-coordinated care in the first hour of life, also known as the “golden hour”, many complications can be avoided and better outcomes can be expected for these fragile infants. With proper focus being placed on thermoregulation, respiratory support such as avoiding hyperoxia and timely administration of surfactant, early initiation of dextrose and amino acid infusion, and overall improved communication and effective teamwork, reductions in long term complications such as intraventricular hemorrhage can be greatly reduced. More research is needed to discover if using the guidelines and principles outlined by the Golden Hour can reduce the incidence of intraventricular hemorrhage and the many long term comorbidities associated with this diagnosis, especially those born before 32 weeks gestation who are at the greatest risk. The use of a retrospective chart audit of resuscitation and stabilization of these at risk infants will be used in this project, along with examining routine head ultrasounds, CT, and MRI results to help determine if the use of the Golden Hour principles will indeed reduce the incidence of intraventricular hemorrhage in low birth weight infants.