The chances of survival for premature babies are higher than ever before. According to recent studies, two-thirds of babies born at 24 weeks gestation who are admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) will survive and return home. Ninety-eight percent of babies born at 30 weeks of gestation will survive. Even those born at 22 weeks (18 weeks earlier) have a chance of living, with active treatment resulting in a 28% survival rate.
At 23 weeks, the survival rate is 55%. About 1.5 percent of all babies arrive at this time and about 95 percent of them survive. Moderately premature babies are less likely than those born before to develop severe disabilities as a result of premature birth, although they may have a higher risk than full-term babies of learning and behavioral problems. Babies born between these weeks have an excellent chance of staying alive, and 90 percent will have no or minimal long-term health or development problems.
However, about 40 percent of premature babies will suffer long-term health complications due to their premature birth. This means that if your baby is born when he's 34 weeks old, he's just as likely to be healthy as any other baby who wasn't born prematurely. A new comprehensive study of premature babies in the United States is helping to redefine what it means for a premature baby to survive. In a study of approximately 11,000 extremely premature babies, those born at 22 weeks had a 28 percent survival rate, while those born at 23 weeks had a 55 percent survival rate.
If you've given birth to a premature baby before, it's important to learn about the complications and problems that premature babies face. The researchers studied the sensorineural, functional and developmental progress of babies born between 22 and 26 weeks of gestation and conducted evaluations when the children were 2 years old. The Prematurity Prevention Clinic is located at the University of Utah Hospital, in the Maternal Fetal Diagnostic Clinic. In the past 20 to 30 years, researchers have discovered countless approaches to improving the survival and care of premature babies.Babies classified as micropremature (born before the 26th week of pregnancy or weighing less than 1.75 pounds at birth) are at greater risk of health complications and disabilities.
However, with advances in medical technology and treatments, more and more premature babies are surviving and thriving.