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Impact of extremely immature infants on neonatal services.
  1. S. Bohin,
  2. E. S. Draper,
  3. D. J. Field
  1. Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Leicester.


    The impact of very immature infants on neonatal services was examined within the United Kingdom. The Trent Health Region was used as a geographically defined population. Data were obtained on all infants weighing less than 1501 g at birth and all infants born before 32 weeks gestation between 1991-93. Information relating to length of stay, duration of ventilation, and survival was documented. Only one of 49 infants born before 24 weeks gestation survived. However, 75% of this group were ventilated. Most of the remaining infants died before 48 hours of age. A similar pattern was also seen in infants of 24 and 25 weeks gestation. Infants under 24 weeks gestation comprised 1.5% of all ventilated infants and consumed 2.14% of the total neonatal ventilator days for the region. It is concluded that the United Kingdom operates a conservative policy towards infants born before 24 weeks gestation and as a result resources expended on them are limited.

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