Study examines survival of very low birthweight babies

A new study published in Acta Paediatrica indicates that survival of babies born weighing  500 g is poor despite advances in neonatal care. The study included 104 babies born over 15 years in North East England and North Cumbria, in the UK, who were 22 weeks gestation and 500 grams (approximately 1.1 lb), of which 49 were admitted for intensive care. Overall one-year survival was 11%, but survival for those receiving intensive care was 22%. There was significant short-term morbidity in surviving babies, in particular retinopathy of prematurity and chronic lung disease.

“Attitudes and the approach to management of these tiny babies should be challenged, with the hope of improving outcomes,” wrote the authors of the study.


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