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Infants 22 weeks old "can now survive"



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Improving the survival rate of extremely preterm infants means that it is now possible to save the lives of babies born at 22 weeks, management said.

Previously, it was recommended that only babies born at 23 weeks or later be treated to save their lives.

But now there is evidence of those born earlier to survive ̵

1; albeit in small numbers – the British Association for Perinatal Medicine

She said most will die, but one-third may survive where treatment is possible.

Prof. Dominic Wilkinson, a neonatologist consultant who helped develop the guidelines, said that following the publication of the previous guide, advances in treatment meant that doctors were trying to save the lives of some babies born at 22 weeks.

He said that evidence from these cases convinced BAPM to update its guidelines.

He said it was "fantastic news" that some babies were born so early

But he added: "The very high risks mean that it is not always right to undergo intensive medical treatment."

for babies born 22 weeks ago is not considered possible b as the lungs are underdeveloped.

Twins surviving 22 weeks

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Ruben and Jensen Powell were born more than four months earlier

Ruben and Jensen Powell became the youngest surviving premature twin boys born in the UK when they were born in August last year at 22 weeks and six days.

Parents Jenny and Rich from Brighton were in Cornwall when Mrs. Powell began giving birth.

They were taken to a specialist hospital in Oxford, where the twins were born the next day.

"This is truly a story of hope and wonder," said Mrs. Powell. "They denied any factor they were given."

Eight days after birth, Reuben underwent a rescue operation when his bowels failed, but they struggled despite their low survival rate.

Jenson also suffered from a weakness in his lungs.

Twins had to perform 20 blood transfusions, eye injections, and laser surgery to prevent blindness and survival for both blood poisoning and pneumonia.

  • Premature twins born in less than 23 weeks

chances to survive 22 weeks?

Despite the progress, the chances of survival are still low.

Most babies born at 22 weeks will die.

Data from 2016 show that there were 486 births at this stage – and in more than 300 cases, babies did not survive labor.

Of those who did, 140 were not in a condition in which the rescue attempt was considered possible and were given palliative care to relieve their suffering.

But where treatment other than palliative care, just over one-third of babies survived.

The guidance states that decisions about whether to offer potentially life-saving treatment depend on the specific circumstances of the baby.

Decisions should be made by specialists in consultation with parents.

But she said that intensive care would simply not be appropriate for many.

What about babies born over 22 weeks?

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Once you reach 22 weeks, your chances of survival increase every week.

Similar numbers are born at 23 weeks and life-saving treatment is done in about half of the cases.

In 2016, 38% survived – double the percentage 10 years earlier.

After the baby reaches 26 weeks, treatment continues in most cases and 82% survive.

But despite the increase in survival, a significant number of these babies will have severe disabilities.

At 22 weeks one-third of survivors. At 26 weeks she is one in 10.

Prof. Andrew Whitlow, a neonatal expert at Bristol University, said the guidance was "very helpful".

He said that it was important not to overdo the number of weeks and instead the baby's condition at birth and different attitudes about what was considered "unacceptable damage" were important factors.

Why are odds of survival increasing?

There are various reasons.

Over the years, physicians and wider healthcare teams have become increasingly better at treating mothers and babies.

Steroids are given before birth to help enhance lung function.

Techniques for ventilating and preventing infection among extremely premature infants have also improved.

The number of extremely preterm infants born in specialized hospitals has also increased.

A decade ago, they were just over half. Now it is close to 80%.


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