Certain factors influence survival and prognosis for premature infants

December 09, 2014

Several factors influence how well a severely premature infant (23 weeks gestation) will do after birth and over the long term, according to researchers at Loyola University Medical Center. These findings were published in the latest issue of the American Journal of Perinatology.

Researchers found that males, multiples and premature infants born in a hospital without a neonatal intensive care unit had a significantly higher death rate. Lack of exposure to steroids before birth and lower birth weights also significantly increased the risk for disability. Some studies suggested that babies born via cesarean section had survival advantages. African-American infants also had higher survival rates in certain studies, but conflicting evidence remains on the role of race and prognosis for these infants.

"The survival of extremely premature infants has improved considerably over the past three decades," said Jonathan Muraskas, MD, lead author, co-medical director, neonatal intensive care unit, Loyola University Health System, and professor, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. "Despite these survival rates, the number of infants born with severe or profound developmental disabilities remains high. This study sheds light on factors that may protect these infants."

These data come from a retrospective review over a 25-year period (1987-2011) of 87 successfully resuscitated infants at 23 weeks of pregnancy. Researchers studied the effects of poor prenatal care, race, gender, inflammation of fetal membranes, steroid use during pregnancy, delivery route and location, Apgar score, birth weight and multiple births on short- and long-term outcomes.

Forty-three percent of the infants in the study did not survive. And 88 percent of the survivors were evaluated at 2 years of age with 66 percent diagnosed with moderate to severe neurological impairment.

"There is no consensus on early treatment strategies that can accurately predict survival and profound developmental impairments based on observations in the first 48 hours of life," study authors noted. "Infants born 16 to 17 weeks early can survive but may have cerebral palsy, blindness and deafness and may require significant resources for the rest of their life. This study will help to identify those infants at risk and help us guide how we care for them."
-end-


Loyola University Health System

Related Infants Articles from Brightsurf:

Most infants are well even when moms are infected by COVID-19
Infants born to women with COVID-19 showed few adverse outcomes, according to the first report in the country of infant outcomes through eight weeks of age.

Probiotic may help treat colic in infants
Probiotics -- or 'good bacteria' -- have been used to treat infant colic with varying success.

Deaf infants' gaze behavior more advanced than that of hearing infants
Deaf infants who have been exposed to American Sign Language are better at following an adult's gaze than their hearing peers, supporting the idea that social-cognitive development is sensitive to different kinds of life experiences.

Initiating breastfeeding in vulnerable infants
The benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child are well-recognized, including for late preterm infants (LPI).

Young infants with fever may be more likely to develop infections
Infants with a high fever may be at increased risk for infections, according to research from Penn State College of Medicine.

Early term infants less likely to breastfeed
A new, prospective study provides evidence that 'early term' infants (those born at 37-38 weeks) are less likely than full-term infants to be breastfeed within the first hour and at one month after birth.

Infants are more likely to learn when with a peer
Researchers at the University of Connecticut and University of Washington looked at the mechanisms involved in language learning among nine-month-olds, the youngest population known to be studied in relation to on-screen learning.

Allergic reactions to foods are milder in infants
Majority of infants with food-induced anaphylaxis present with hives and vomiting, suggesting there is less concern for life-threatening response to early food introduction.

Non-dairy drinks can be dangerous for infants
A brief report published in Acta Paediatrica points to the dangers of replacing breast milk or infant formula with a non-dairy drink before one year of age.

Infants can't talk, but they know how to reason
A new study reveals that preverbal infants are able to make rational deductions, showing surprise when an outcome does not occur as expected.

Read More: Infants News and Infants Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.