Risks of premature birth

Medical care is constantly evolving. Meanwhile, babies can survive from the 24th week of pregnancy.

A premature baby born after the 28th week of pregnancy has a 90% chance of survival today. From the 32nd week of pregnancy, the risk of death virtually drops to 0%.

Whether a Baby survives a premature birth during this time depends on how far the lungs are already developed. If the lung is not yet fully formed, an attempt can be made to accelerate the development of the lung while the Baby is still in the womb. For this purpose, cortisone-containing drugs are administered to the mother.

Although the limit of survival of premature babies continues to move forward, it is questionable to what extent this is in the child's interest. Mere survival is no longer the goal of therapy for premature babies. For the treating doctors and the parents, the survival of the child without disabilities or lasting consequences is of much greater importance.
Risks that can occur after a premature birth are, for example, cerebral hemorrhage. During childbirth, sudden differences in pressure can overwhelm the vessels in the baby's head and cause them to burst. In the worst case, these bleedings can lead to disabilities.
With very small premature babies weighing less than 1000g, the eyelids are often still grown together and the blood vessels are not yet fully developed. This development is additionally interrupted due to the oxygen content after birth. This can lead to retinal detachment, which must be treated by laser treatment.

Another risk can be serious intestinal diseases of the child, which must be treated either with antibiotics or in severe cases surgically.
In rare cases, premature babies have a hole in the heart or a heart valve that is not fully functional. By now, these errors can also be corrected by surgery or medication.
Basically, the chances that a healthy baby will emerge from a premature birth are very good.

It is important for parents to pay attention to possible long-term consequences. If there are noticeable developmental disorders or delays in the child, it is essential to consult a specialist.

It is important for the parents to pay attention to possible long-term consequences. If the child shows conspicuous developmental disorders or delays, a specialist should be consulted.

Possible symptoms should be recognized early so that they can be treated as soon as possible. Because the earlier action is taken, the sooner restrictions can be compensated.

The development should continue to be observed during the school years, as some consequences often only become apparent in later childhood. In case of uncertainties and questions, it is advisable to first consult the responsible paediatrician. He or she can then refer the parents to the responsible specialist.

If you would like to find out more about the topic of what are the "causes of premature birth", please read on here.