Intended for healthcare professionals


Prediction of survival for preterm births

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 04 March 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:647

This article has a correction. Please see:

Survival table was not easy to understand

  1. T H H G Koh, neonatologist,
  2. H Harrison, mother of a child born at 28 weeks,
  3. A Casey, mother of a baby born at 27 weeks
  1. Kirwan Hospital, Thuringowa, Queensland 4817, Australia
  2. 1144 Sterling Avenue, Berkeley CA 94708, USA
  3. Seaholme, Victoria 3018, Australia
  4. Department of Feto-Maternal Medicine, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds LS1 3EX
  5. Department of Child Health and Obstetrics, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT
  6. Division of Newborn Services, Royal Women's Hospital, Carlton, Victoria 3053, Australia
  7. Victorian Perinatal Data Collection Unit, Department of Human Services, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia

    EDITOR—The article by Draper et al deserves further comment.1 The objective of the study was to produce current data on survival of preterm infants, yet theirs was a retrospective study for 1994-7. Since it is now 1999 we believe that their data, albeit useful, are recent rather than current. Antenatal administration of steroids to the mothers was not mentioned as one of the additional factors affecting infants' survival.

    As a neonatologist and two mothers of extremely premature babies we do not find the tables described in the paper easy to understand. Draper et al may be interested in our paper published last month, which describes a table giving outcome for parents of babies at less than 28 weeks of gestation.2 This table contains information on survival rates, and also short term complications and treatment of the most recent cohort of such babies. This table could be unit based, updated annually, and be made available to the parents and each member of the perinatal team to promote consistency in the information given to the parents. We also suggest that parents be informed of 11 points, four of which …

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