Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation



First Advisor

Robin B. Dail


Preterm infants, those that are born less than 37 weeks gestational age, often suffer major morbidity and mortality during hospitalization in the neonatal intensive care unit due to their prematurity; one of the major morbidities is Necrotizing Enterocolitis, a devastating gastrointestinal disease. The exact aspects that cause preterm infants to develop Necrotizing Enterocolitis are unknown; however, our hypothesis is preterm infant thermal stability and/or preterm infant stress around packed red blood cell transfusions are etiological factors in the relationship between these necessary transfusions and morbid outcomes such as Necrotizing Enterocolitis.This dissertation includes an in-depth background and introduction of various morbid conditions that preterms are predisposed to because of their preterm physiology which is covered in Chapter 1. Chapter 2 presents the current state of the science through a completed scoping literature review that identifies studies revealing varying conclusions as to the relationship between packed red blood cell transfusions and Necrotizing Enterocolitis in preterms. Chapter 3 features the study team’s evaluation, selection, and adaptation of a conceptual framework that was driven by nursing theory to study the relationship of acute morbidity and packed red blood cell transfusions in preterms. Chapters 4 and 5 cover the method, design, and results of the two-phased dissertation study examining the relationship of blood transfusions and acute morbidity in preterm infants.

Included in

Nursing Commons