Although the incidence of low birth weight (LBW) has improved only slightly in the past two decades, infant mortality has declined substantially (1). The improved mortality rate can be attributed to advances in newborn intensive care. Dramatic changes in technical, medical, and nursing care of low-birth-weight infants (less than 2,500 grams) has ensured the survival of smaller and sicker infants (1,2).
Lina Kurdahi Zahr, CPNP, DNSc, is an Associate Professor at UCLA School of Nursing, Los Angeles. She has taught pediatric nursing for the past 22 years in the Middle East and in the United States and has practiced as a Staff Nurse and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in various countries around the world.
The author wishes to thank Sossi Balian, Sylvia Chen, and Erika Schwab for their assistance in collecting the data; the NICU staff at the UCLA Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, and the American University of Beirut Medical Center for their cooperation with this study; and Irene Wainwright for editorial assistance. This study was funded in part by a minigrant from the UCLA School of Nursing and by an Academic Senate grant.