MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Edward Bell, MD
Vice Chair for Faculty Development
Department of Pediatrics
Professor of Pediatrics – Neonatology
Carver College of Medicine
University of Iowa Health Care
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: The study is an analysis of what happened to the 205 babies with birth weigh below 400 grams and gestational age of 22 through 26 weeks who were born between 2008 and 2016 at 21 academic medical centers that are members of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network. The Network exists to collaborate in finding ways to improve the survival and health of premature and other critically-ill newborn infants. 400 grams is very small. By comparison, 1 pound is 454 grams.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: Of the 205 babies born alive, 101 were actively treated, and of these, 26 infants survived. 21 infants were old enough (2 years) to be eligible for the Network’s standard follow-up examination, and 19 infants could be found and showed up for examination. They were still small for their age. Fourteen of 19 (74%) had significant developmental delays. None was blind or deaf.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Response: Even the smallest babies have a chance to live, and if they survive, can have a good life. A few appear to be normal at 2 years.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: I encourage others to track the outcomes of their tiniest patients, but it will be difficult for anyone to accumulate significant numbers for analysis.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: One resource your readers my be interested to know about is the Tiniest Babies Registry, a web registry of patients who survived after being born with weight less than 400 grams: https://webapps1.healthcare.uiowa.edu/TiniestBabies/index.aspx.
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