Long-Term Preemie Issues

What long-term complications could result from prematurity?

Learning Problems

Premature babies are more prone than most to face complications -- both short- and long-term. Learn about which long-term complications might arise, according to the University of Wisconsin Center for Perinatal Care, and what you can do about them.

Former preemies are more likely than full-term babies to suffer from learning deficits or learning disabilities at school. Up to 45 percent of infants weighing less than 3 1/4 pounds at birth have one or more abnormalities on testing at school age. It's usually not possible to predict at the time of discharge or during early development who might develop these difficulties. Common problems include:

  • Coordination problems: Difficulty writing, drawing, or doing jigsaw puzzles.
  • Language problems: Difficulty following directions, learning to read, or remembering words.
  • Thinking problems: Difficulty with memory, spatial relationships, or abstract concepts.

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