Asking the same questions: Premature infant care and the survival of the smallest

Philadelphia General Hospital nursing staff, circa 1895. Image courtesy of the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing.

By Briana Ralston, PhD

A recent New York Times article stated:

“A small number of very premature babies are surviving earlier outside the womb than doctors once thought possible, a new study has documented, raising questions about how aggressively they should be treated…”

Though this statement was made regarding present studies, it could have easily been published 40 years ago during the early years of neonatal intensive care in the United States. Indeed, our current fascination with saving sick babies is not a recent phenomenon, but one whose roots sink back over the past century.

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Children’s Health and Welfare: Rhetoric vs Reality

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Image courtesy of the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing

By Cynthia Connolly, PhD, RN, PNP, FAAN

Much has changed for American children during the past half century, a great deal of it for the better.  Vaccines, for example, reduced morbidity and mortality from infectious diseases such as whooping-cough, diphtheria that once felled entire communities of children. Continue reading