premature babies born at 22 weeks can now survive outside the womb. Back in 2016 of the 486 babies born sadly 300 passed away. To begin with premature infants can live after being born at 24 weeks.This is usually the viable age that doctors will intervene and help them breathe.
premature babies survival rates
In fact premature babies born at 24 weeks spend a longer time in the neonatal units. cared for in NICU HDU or SCBU very preterm babies have many hurdles to cross. 60,000 babies a year are born premature. Each year 1 in 7 babies born will spend time in the neonatal unit. Survival rates for tiny babies in the last 10 years have doubled. premature babies born at 22 weeks have a 10% chance of survival .Furthermore premature infants born at 24 weeks gestation have a 60% chance of survival
Will my premature baby live
Compared to 10 years ago a premature baby at 22 weeks hospitals would not attempt save these babies born so early. what does this mean for parents ? Hospitals policies are changing. Its to help babies born at 22 weeks instead of 24. The new cut off point has changed because doctors have got better at helping tiny babies. Subsequently it not always be the right thing to do as the risks are so high for these babies born this early.
care for premature babies born at 24 weeks
premature babies born at 24 weeks need intensive care in the NICU. In fact this is 24 hour nursing on a 1 to 1 nursing basis. Your premature baby will have all its needs met cared for in an incubator. A stay in the Nicu will last for approx. 16 weeks. Usually until their expected due date.
For the most part this is were they will stay nestled inside a warm incubator. breathing is assisted using a ventilator or cpap. as a result of their prematurity their lungs are not yet mature enough to breathe unaided.
How do I cope with my premature baby in the Nicu
Finally after the birth and once your premature baby is settled in an incubator you can start to see your baby. Emotions will be all over the place. Don’t be surprised if you feel out of your depth. Seeing all the wires in place monitoring your baby can make you feel helpless. Watching your baby for hours on end is very tiring as you sit by the incubator.
Incidentally being involved with your baby’s care needs will help you both bond together. Being a part of their care you will be so experienced at the end of it all and understand many medical terms. nursing staff are there to offer you support too not just your baby.
premature babies long term health issues
As a result of their prematurity premature babies can still have health issues when they are home. especially in their first year of life. For instance your baby may go home on oxygen especially for the most extreme of premature births. Delivered at 22 – 24 weeks. Coughs , Colds, Chronic lung disease ,RSV can take its toll on very premature babies so stay away from any family member who is sick. Plus avoid letting visitors come to your house if they have sick and diarrhoea. winter months are the worst.
prevention is better than cure protecting babies against infection
In the first instance there are some important factors to consider to protect babies from infections. Implement good hygiene right from day one at home. using antibacterial hand washes. Wash your hand before holding your young baby. Use disposable tissues use once only. Subsequently use antibacterial surface cleaners on work surfaces.
Furthermore look but don’t touch even a kiss on baby’s mouth can kill. Don’t let strangers touch or kiss your baby.