Trends in the Rates of Cerebral Palsy Associated with Neonatal Intensive Care of Preterm Children

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Progressive changes in perinatal and neonatal intensive care of preterm infants since the late 1960s have led to an increase in survival and had an effect on the rates of neonatal morbidity, including brain injury, chronic lung disease, and sepsis. These have influenced the rates of neurodevelopmental impairment, including cerebral palsy. There was initially an increase in neonatal morbidity and rates of cerebral palsy associated with the increased survival of extremely low birth weight and low gestation infants. However, since the late 1990s and especially since the year 2000, the rates of neonatal morbidity have decreased with evidence of a decrease in the rates of cerebral palsy. Efforts to further decrease neonatal morbidity should continue to improve the outcomes of preterm children.

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