Premature babies have enough to deal with.
Not only do they face the possibility of long-term health problems like impaired cognitive function, behavioral/psychological problems, and cerebral palsy, they first need to overcome short-term hurdles that could include problems with their metabolism, heart, and lungs. Preemies who require assistance from a respirator could then face bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD)–a chronic lung disease that occurs when mechanical ventilation causes damage to the lungs.
At least now there’s one less thing to worry about:
Doctors at Children’s Healthcare Atlanta have determined that infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia are not at an increased risk for deteriorating lung function (respiratory decompensation) as a result of immunization. This is in direct contrast to the previously held belief, which suggested that early vaccination of a premature baby with BPD could contribute to loss of lung function over time.
In order to reach their conclusion, Dr. Edwin Clark Montague and his colleagues observed 240 infants, 170 of whom had bronchopulmonary dysplasia while the other 70 did not. Follow-up data was collected for 72 hours after immunizations. There was no statistically significant difference in respiratory decompensation between the two groups.