Dutch doctors are told to be more aggressive in treating extremely premature babies

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 29 October 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6164
  1. Tony Sheldon
  1. 1Utrecht

Dutch doctors’ cautious approach, in comparison with their international colleagues, to intensive treatment of babies born at 24 weeks’ gestation is shifting as evidence grows that treatment offers a better chance of survival.

A new guideline from the Dutch Associations of Paediatrics and of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, ordered by the ministry of health in 2007, recommends bringing forward the limit for starting treatment from 25 weeks’ to 24 weeks’ gestation.

The associations believe that “there are now enough medical reasons” to treat babies born at 24 weeks and so “give them a chance of survival.”

Its decision is based on “better possibilities for treatment in recent …

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