All interventions, whether intended as therapy or as monitoring, are inherently invasive and therefore have associated risks. The task of weighing risks and benefits would be simple if both were quantitatively known. Estimating the frequency of complications is difficult except for the most frequent and even those vary widely. Complications due to mechanical trauma, accidents, technique errors, or faulty equipment are potentially preventable. Complications due to interaction of the intervention with the patient (e.g., infection, thrombosis) may not be preventable until new techniques, equipment, or methods are developed. This section provides a catalogue of complications associated with intensive care in the neonate. Clinicians must continue to be vigilant and mindful of potential iatrogenic complications so that these problems may be prevented when possible and otherwise rapidly recognized and managed.

Figure 7.1. Ultrasound examination of the abdomen of a pregnant mother (gestational age 35 weeks) who was shot with a BB gun. Note die shadow from die BB pellet located in the soft tissue above the fetal femur. (Moise, K.)

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