Assessment and Care of the Late Preterm Infant Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guideline (updated in 2014) is the premier comprehensive evidence-based resource developed to guide nursing care of the late preterm infant. Nurses and other health care providers can use this guideline to plan and implement assessment and care from birth through discharge, provide staff education, and educate parents about their late preterm infants.
Developed through the rigors of AWHONN's research-based practice project on late preterm birth, this guideline provides perinatal and neonatal registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses with current clinical practice recommendations for care of the late preterm infant based on the best available evidence. The goal of this guideline is to ensure that nurses know the risks of late preterm birth and the unique needs of the late preterm neonate so that they can provide timely evidence-based assessments and interventions.
The Guideline provides evidence-based approaches to accomplish the following:
- Identify the late preterm neonate at risk for complications during the continuum from birth through hospital discharge.
- Recognize the physiologic limitations and challenges of a late preterm infant that place him or her at increased risk.
- Perform a risk assessment of perinatal events that may adversely impact the late preterm infant.
- Validate the late preterm infant's gestational age.
- Assess respiratory status and intervene to minimize the risk of respiratory distress.
- Implement interventions to promote thermoregulation.
- Assess and intervene to help prevent and manage hypoglycemia.
- Assess the risk for sepsis and implement appropriate interventions.
- Implement interventions to assess for hyperbilirubinemia.
- Address feeding challenges, and promote successful breastfeeding.
- Incorporate elements of the Guideline into nursing interventions, discharge planning and parent education.
Suggested interventions are accompanied by rationale statements and supportive literature. A Quick Care Guide that highlights key assessments, interventions, and parent teaching strategies and is designed for bedside reference is included. A patient education handout has also been developed.
Whether you work in antepartum, L&D, well-baby nursery, NICU, or ambulatory OB or newborn care, this evidence-based guideline is a must-have to maximize the health and well-being of this vulnerable group of newborns.