Way back in 2005 when we first became established our research found the premature baby survival age was at 24 weeks when babies were classed to be the earliest age of viability. Years later in 2014 more premature babies are making it born even earlier from only 22 weeks.
Bliss is a Premature baby charity based in the Uk Bliss welcomed the results of the EPICure 2 study it was published in the British Medical Journal today, it highlighted how important long-term follow-up care is for babies that were born premature.
The EPICure study project recorded every premature baby born between 22 and 25 weeks gestation from every maternity unit in the UK plus the Republic of Ireland during the year 1995. It investigated disability and medical complications in those premature babies, assessed at age one year, two and a half years old and at six years old corrected age.
The EPICure 2 study carried out in 2006 to repeated the study, and also follow up the original group of children who were then 11 years of age. It aimed to note any differences, assess how well the children did at school, and note any special educational need requirements they may have had in comparison to their peers.
The results showed survival rates of babies born between 24 and 26 weeks have improved, which could be due to advances in hospital neonatal care. However, the results also showed that the proportion of babies who experience serious problems into childhood, such as learning difficulties, lung conditions, and cerebral palsy, remained largely unchanged. The research suggests that while the number of very pre-term babies who survive may continue to rise, it is likely that the number of children and adults with long-term disability caused by complications of premature birth will also rise in parallel.
“nearly 50% babies born before 27 weeks will now pull through, and while many go on to do very well in the long term, a significant proportion will continue to need support throughout their lives to deal with the complications of their early arrival.
since 1995, 13 percent more babies born at 24 and 25 weeks gestation have survived and that there has been an 11 per cent improvement in survival without disability.
the above extracts have been taken from the Bliss website.
The earlier the baby is born the risk increases, the babies most vulnerable are those born before reaching 26 weeks of pregnancy gestation.