Fifty-two premature infants underwent hemoclip closure of patent ductus arteriosus in the neonatal intensive care unit after a brief trial of fluid restriction and diuretics. Indomethacin was used in only four patients. The median time from diagnosis to operation was 3 days. There were no deaths directly attributable to operation. Nine operative complications developed in nine patients (17 percent). There were no surgical infections. Complications related to prematurity resulted in 20 deaths (38 percent). Patent ductus arteriosus closure in the neonatal intensive care unit prevented the complications of hypothermia, inadvertent extubation, and interruption of vascular access and monitoring. Early operative closure in the neonatal intensive care unit is the treatment of choice in most premature infants with patent ductus arteriosus.
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