Study: Some Premature Babies Can Survive At 22 Weeks

| by Michael Allen
Premature Baby.Premature Baby.

A study released this week found that a small number of premature babies can survive earlier than previously believed.

The study analyzed almost 5,000 premature babies born between 22 and 27 weeks, and concluded that some babies born at 22 weeks could survive, but only with medical care, reports TIME.

In 78 instances where there was medical intervention, only 18 of the 22-week-old babies survived.

When those babies reached toddlerhood, seven didn't have any "moderate or severe impairments," but six did suffer from conditions such as "blindness, deafness or severe cerebral palsy," noted The New York Times.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network.

The study, which was published in The New England Journal of Medicine, concluded:

"Differences in hospital practices regarding the initiation of active treatment in infants born at 22, 23, or 24 weeks of gestation explain some of the between-hospital variation in survival and survival without impairment among such patients."

Sources: The New England Journal of Medicine, The New York Times, TIME
Image Credit: Polihale/Wikimedia Commons