More premature infants surviving thanks to improving postnatal care

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Elise Jackson was 20 weeks pregnant, in 2002, when she felt her water break. She and her husband Todd went to the hospital where she was told she was in labor. Doctors were able to delay delivery for a few more weeks, but she still gave birth to her baby very early, at 25 weeks.

Her son, Elijah, weighed just over one pound when he was born. Like other extremely early premature babies, he needed help breathing and had a host of complications because he wasn’t able to finish developing in the womb. He spent seven months in the hospital and had several surgeries before coming home. Now an active 13-year-old, he has made substantial progress in development, but continues to need glasses, speech therapy and other therapies.

Their story highlights the progress that has been made over the last two decades in helping premature babies survive and even thrive.

Elijah’s experience, after being born at the cusp of the gestational age when a baby can survive, is growing less uncommon. Survival rates for babies born at less than 25 weeks have improved –with about a third of babies born at 23 weeks surviving. But below 25 weeks, most of them will still have major complications.

Read full, original post: Survival rates for extremely premature babies improve, slightly

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