Premature infants survive better in high-level neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) than in general hospitals, revealed the largest to date recent study. In addition that the benefit is significantly bigger than was reported previously. Premature infants are those who born prior to thirty-seen weeks gestational period.
But, in this study researchers described extremely preterm infants as those who born prior to thirty-two weeks and moderately preterm infants as those who born between thirty-two and thirty-seven weeks. The probability that an extremely premature infant will survive when born in a high-technology and high-volume hospital unit was already recognized.
However, the latest study revealed the strongest effect of NICUs. The team of neonatologists from the Children`s Hospital of Philadelphia, conducted a retrospective study of all hospital-based deliveries of infants with a gestational age between twenty-three and thirty-seven weeks in Pennsylvania, California and Missouri.
The study focused on preterm deliveries in high-level NICUs, compared to preterm deliveries at all other hospitals. Paediatric researchers who analyzed more than one hundred thirty million premature births over a decade found that the survival benefits applied not only to extremely preterm babies, but also to moderately preterm newborns.
They found three hundred percent improvement in the rates of survival, when the study design controlled for the effect of sicker patients who typically deliver at high-level NICUs. The rates of complication were similar for both types of hospitals. The study findings were published in the journal Paediatrics
Lead author Scott A. Lorch, neonatologist at The Children`s Hospital of Philadelphia, explained previous studies from the early ninety’s found increased survival rates of thirty to fifty percent among preterm infants delivered at high-level NICUs, compared to preterm infants delivered elsewhere. But their latest research found improvement by three hundred percent.