[Source Psych Central]
Extremely preterm babies — those born between 22 to 24 weeks gestation — continue to face unfavorable odds, as only about one in three survive. But a new study led by Duke Health shows that these rates are slowly improving. The findings show that, compared to extremely preterm babies born a decade earlier, a larger percentage are developing into toddlers without signs of moderate or severe cognitive and motor delay.
Improvements in survival and neurodevelopment may be the result of a number of factors, including decreasing rates of infection in the infants, along with the increased use of steroids in expectant mothers that can help mature and strengthen the fetus’s lungs prior to birth, according to the authors.