Purpose and Mission Statement
Advances in neonatal intensive care has permitted the survival of increasingly smaller infants. Mortality for low birthweight infants, especially the very low birthweight infants, has declined dramatically. However, serious concerns persist that this improved survival may be accompanied by an increase in the number of permanently handicapped children. Indeed, reduction in neonatal morbidity his not kept pace with reduction in mortality. Most developmental follow-up programs report a major handicap rate of twenty percent among very low birthweight infants. While the percentage of major handicaps has remained relatively unchanged since 1975, the absolute numbers have increased as the number of intensive care nursery survivors has increased.
Approximately ten percent of infants born in the United States each year spend time in a special care or intensive care nursery. In view of the considerable commitment of manpower and monies directed toward the acute care of these sick newborns, it becomes imperative that perinatal centers provide a mechanism to ensure continuing care and evaluation of their high-risk survivors. The Committee on the Fetus and Newborn of the American Academy of Pediatrics has reiterated this policy in the manual of Guidelines for Perinatal Care , a joint publication of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology Managing several tertiary care centers for the State of Georgia, the Division of Neonatology at the Emory University School of Medicine is mandated to provide systematic follow-up to determine long-term outcome of intensive care nursery survivors.
The Developmental Progress Clinic at Emory University is a comprehensive medical and developmental evaluation and intervention program for infants cared for in the Emory University Regional Perinatal Center. Because of the multiple and various perinatal problems these infants encounter, many remain at significant risk for both short and longterm medical and developmental sequelae. The Developmental Progress Clinic offers a variety of outpatient services by a transdiscipfinary team of medical and developmental specialists to infants considered to be at highest risk for medical and/or developmental problems. Comprehensive medical and developmental evaluations are offered in order to prevent, detect, and treat the problems of these high-risk infants.
The mission of the Developmental Progress Clinic is to provide multidisciplinary, neurodevelopmental evaluative and interventional services to infants and children identified as "at-risk" or as "known-risk" for neurodevelopmental disabilities.