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Expatriate Medical Insurance News: Medicine 'must strive to improve babies' survival rates'

Expatriate medical insurance customers might be interested to learn that doctors are still striving to improve the survival rate of babies born prematurely.

Judy Ledger, chief executive of Baby Lifeline, said that there is clearly an argument to do "everything possible to ensure survival of babies even at 23 weeks of gestation because advances in obstetric and neonatal care have already enabled the threshold of 'viability' to be reduced from 28 weeks to 24 weeks".

The comments come as research from Tommy's revealed that of babies born before 26 weeks of gestation, only half of those born at 22 weeks survived, compared to 81 per cent of those born at 24 weeks.

Of the children that were born before 26 weeks, 22 per cent were found to have a severe disability.

Ms Ledger added that from a mother's perspective "scientific terminologies such as a 'fetus' and a 'baby' as well as 'viable' and 'pre-viable' may not be useful, as she would want her baby to survive and be healthy at any gestational age, irrespective of such a 'pre-viable status' accorded by clinicians, based on the gestational age".

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