PREMATURE infants as a group pass through their period of greatest danger in the first forty-eight hours of life—it is in this period that 90 per cent of the mortality among premature infants will be encountered.
Unfortunately the premature infant, having weathered this initial forty-eight hour danger zone, cannot now be promised smooth sailing for the remainder of his voyage. A premature infant must still navigate dangerous waters and be exposed to many more hazards than is his more fortunate full term compatriot.
Obviously our first medical responsibility is to try to get the premature infant through this forty-eight hour period of danger. It is now agreed that the lot of these infants cannot be improved by procedures that are instituted after birth. The obstetricians recognize that improvement in the condition of premature infants in the first forty-eight hours after birth can be achieved only through forces acting in the