Also known as nasal flaring. This occurs when the nostrils open wide while breathing. Mild nasal flaring is often seen immediately after birth as the newborn attempts to clear fetal lung fluid from the lungs. Beyond this period, flaring suggests that the baby is having some difficulty with breathing.
The skull is made up of many bones that join together to form a solid, bony cavity. The areas where the bones join together are called the sutures. The bones are not joined together firmly at birth. This allows the head to pass through the birth canal. The sutures get minerals added to them over time and harden, firmly joining the skull bones together. This process is called ossification.
In a newborn, the space where two sutures intersect forms a membrane-covered "soft spot" called a fontanelle (fontanel). The fontanelles allow for growth of the skull during an infant's first year.
Normally, a newborn's skull has several fontanelles, at the top, back, and sides of the head. Like the sutures, fontanelles ossify over time and become closed, solid bony areas. Posterior fontanelle (back of the head) usually closes by the time an infant is 1 - 2 months old. The anterior fontanelle fontanelle(top of the head) usually closes between 7 - 19 months.
Premature babies are at risk to get infections. The infection can be caused by a bacteria, virus or fungus. 12 percent of invasive infections in NICUs are from a fungal organism, the most common of which is Candida albicans. Premature babies that are at the highest risk for fungal infections will receive a preventive dose of an antifungal medicine while they have invasive tubes.
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