THE SICK NEONATE
The neonate at birth represents the culmination of genetic, antepartal, and
intrapartal factors that affect its immediate and future well-being. Many neonates, when
born, have already been introduced to in utero insults and birth trauma, which severely
jeopardized their future welfare. Their survival, and perhaps their quality of life, is
entrusted to the knowledge, skill, and expertise of the health care team. The practical
nurse performs a vital role in caring for the sick neonate. Constant attention must be
directed to the accurate observation of the neonate so that significant changes may be
reported immediately. This lesson will consist of twelve problems of the neonate.
WEIGHT-RELATED GESTATIONAL CONDITIONS
a. Small for Gestational Age Infant (SGA). The birth weight of a small for
gestational age infant (SGA) infants fall below the tenth percentile for this given
gestational age. These neonates may be preterm, full-term, or post term. However, the
defining characteristic specifies that they are small for their designated gestational age
(see figure 11-1).
Figure 11-1. Small for gestational age infant.
Characteristics of the SGA infant are as follows:
(a) The infant appears thin and wasted; their skin is loose and dry.