In an effort to understand more completely the metabolic consequences of major surgical procedures in very young infants, extensive metabolic studies were done in nine infants of various ages in the immediate postoperative period. The results of these investigations are presented in detail in this volume. Also included is a review of other work concerning the metabolic consequences of surgery in the adult and older child and a summary of existing knowledge of normal metabolic processes in the newborn infant.
After correlation of all the above material plus experience gained with many other infants undergoing surgery, but without such extensive metabolic studies, recommendations are made as to optimal methods of management of the very small infant in the postoperative period. These include considerations of maintenance of body temperature, caloric intake, fluid and electrolyte requirements, nitrogen requirements, and postoperative laboratory control.
The number of infants studied is admittedly small, but this