More than 380,000 babies are born prematurely each year in the United States, according to 2016 data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS); that is just under 1 in every 10 babies born in the United States. Factors contributing to the increased survival of premature infants include prenatal corticosteroid therapy and early surfactant therapy to reduce the incidence of respiratory distress syndrome. Nutrition therapy plays a vital role in minimizing morbidity and mortality, and optimizing growth and development.
Carrie Finch, MS, RDN, CSP, has 20 years of experience as a neonatal dietitian and currently works in the NICU at the Children's Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond, VA. Carrie is a published author in peer-reviewed publications and previously coordinated an Advanced Practice Residency program training dietitians across the United States in nutritional care for the high-risk infant.
Patti Perks, MS, RDN, CNSC has over 15 years experience in neonatal nutrition support in the NICU at the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital in Charlottesville, VA. She is involved in numerous quality improvement initiatives, and provides nutrition education to staff and students. She is a founding board member of the Virginia Neonatal Nutrition Association, a nonprofit that provides educational and networking opportunities for healthcare providers.
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