Feb 16, 2017

Outlook for extremely premature babies 'improving'

The study by Duke Health in the US and published in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at 4,274 babies born between 22 and 24 weeks. Compared with those born a decade earlier, a larger percentage were now toddlers without signs of moderate or severe cognitive and motor delay. About 30% of children included in the study who were born between the years 2000 and 2003 survived, but that rate increased to 36% for babies born in 2008 to 2011. The proportion of survivors who did not have a neurological impairment rose from 16% to 20%. The best outcomes were for children born at 23 to 24 weeks. "We see evidence of improvement over time. But we do need to keep an eye on the overall numbers, as a large percentage of infants born at this stage still do not survive."

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