Tip 16: osteopenia of prematurity

Premature babies are at risk of osteopenia, which increases the risk of fractures in the short-term and short stature in the long-term. Alkaline phosphatase >500 IU/L is a proxy for osteopenia.

All enterally fed very preterm babies (≤32/40) should receive 1 mmol/kg/day phosphate as a supplement to breast milk.

All infants should also receive 400 IU/day vitamin D.

Reference: Bishop N. Metabolic bone disease. In Rennie J, Rennie & Roberton’s Textbook of Neonatology, 5th edition, 2012. Elsevier: London.

First published: 19/10/13

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