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Survival Rate of Premature Babies

Survival Rate of Premature Babies

by: Dr. Sanjay K. Tandon
Sr. Consultant Paediatrics & Neonatology

For prematurity, most of the hospitals consider 24 weeks of gestation, as a cut-off point in which, the doctor would use intensive medical interventions in attempt to save the life of a baby born prematurely.

Factors that affect the survival of preterm:

  • Birth weight: Low birth weight is linked to reduced odds of survival and higher risk of disabilities with health problems.
  • Medical condition of the mother for e.g placenta abruption which causes oxygen deprivation
  • Steroid that speed up lung development. Premature baby of the mother who had received steroids had better survival rate
  • Girl child survival rate is more as compared to boys

 

Premature baby survival rates vary with institutes and countries. On an average, following are the rates of premature survival by the length of pregnancy:

LENGTH OF PREGNANCY SURVIVAL RATE
24 WEEKS 39%
25 WEEKS 50%
26 WEEKS 80%
27 WEEKS 90%
28-31 WEEKS 90-95%
32-33 WEEKS 95%
34+ WEEKS ALMOST LIKE FULL TERM BABY

What are the odds of survival for a premature baby?

  • For a baby born before 28 weeks – These babies have most of the complications, starting from low birth weight. They need the intensive care for them leading to long stay in NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).

survival of premature babies

Unfortunately, around 25% of these babies develop serious lasting disabilites and half may have problems such as learning or behavioral problems.

  • For the babies born at 28-31 weeks – These babies are larger and even they have more survival rates than the previous babies. Severity of complications are less in these babies as compare to previous babies if it occurs but the low birth weight babies remain at a risk for serious disabilities.
  • For the babies born at 32-33 weeks – Survival in this group of baby is 98%. These babies are less likely to develop serious disabillites. Though they are at higher risk for learning and behavioural problems
  • For the babies at 34-36 weeks – These babies are larger than babies born previously and survival rate is almost as full term babies. They may be at risk for subtle learning and behavioural problems.
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