Two thirds of premature babies survive with care

A study of very premature babies has shown that more than two thirds survive if they are given active neonatal care.

Researchers in Germany studied a total of 106 babies, born at either 22 or 23 weeks, over a period of four years.

During that time, 86 babies received active care, while 20 received palliative care. Out of the 86 babies given ongoing care, 58 (67 per cent) survived to go home. A quarter had no serious complications when they were discharged.

No complications

In Great Britain, the legal limit for abortion is 24 weeks, but if the child is disabled abortion is allowed up to term.

Last week, a man who saved the lives of thousands of premature babies by pioneering neonatal treatment in the US was remembered.

During his career Martin Couney estimated that he had saved the lives of nearly 6,500 premature babies, with an 85 per cent success rate.

As well as saving their lives, Couney gave lectures praising the babies’ potential and cited the names of famous men like Sir Isaac Newton who were born prematurely and went on to achieve great things.

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