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560g baby with less than 50% chance of survival pulls through

A baby boy has defied the odds and survived despite being born 15 weeks early and weighing only 560g at birth. The medical team at the SUM hospital in Odisha, India, said that they were fighting against a less than 50% chance of survival and saved the premature baby. 

Born at 25 weeks gestation

The baby boy was born by caesarean section at 25 weeks gestation and his low birth weight left him in a critical condition. 

“We put the baby in invasive ventilation in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit immediately for a prolonged period as it developed all complications of premature birth”, said Dr Debasish Nanda, head of Department of Neonatology in the hospital.

The baby was then put on almost four months of non-invasive ventilation and survived due to the continuous effort of staff. 

Nothing spared in fight to save his life

Dr Pusparaj Samantasinhar, Medical Superintendent of the hospital, said that they provided all of the necessary technological and logistical support needed. This is what Dr Nanda, head of Neonatology, said made the difference in the baby’s survival. 

Unsurprisingly, his parents were delighted that their child made it through these very challenging months and praised the hospital for their support. 

Improving outcomes for premature babies

A study, ‘Mortality, In-Hospital Morbidity, Care Practices, and 2-Year Outcomes for Extremely Preterm Infants in the US, 2013-2018’, by Dr Edward F Bell of the University of Iowa, found that from 2013 to 2018, with infants born between 22 and 28 weeks gestation, “survival to discharge occurred in 78.3% and was significantly improved compared with a historical rate of 76.0% among infants born in 2008-2012”.

The study, which took place between 2013 and 2018, assessed 10,877 infants born between 22 and 28 weeks gestation in 19 academic medical centres across the US.

This means that almost four out of five extremely prematurely born babies survived and were able to be assessed at 22-26 months corrected age (22-26 months from their due date) for a number of health and functional outcomes.

Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said “It is incredible to see how babies born so prematurely are surviving at astonishing rates. This little boy’s recovery is a sign of how far technology has advanced to support babies born months early”. 

“The effort that the medical professionals in this hospital put into saving this baby boy reminds us of how precious every life is, no matter the difficult circumstances of a baby’s birth”.

Dear reader,

You may be surprised to learn that our 24-week abortion time limit is out of line with the majority of European Union countries, where the most common time limit for abortion on demand or on broad social grounds is 12 weeks gestation.

The latest guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine enables doctors to intervene to save premature babies from 22 weeks. The latest research indicates that a significant number of babies born at 22 weeks gestation can survive outside the womb, and this number increases with proactive perinatal care.

This leaves a real contradiction in British law. In one room of a hospital, doctors could be working to save a baby born alive at 23 weeks whilst, in another room of that same hospital, a doctor could perform an abortion that would end the life of a baby at the same age.

The majority of the British population support reducing the time limit. Polling has shown that 70% of British women favour a reduction in the time limit from 24 weeks to 20 weeks or below.

Please click the button below to sign the petition to the Prime Minister, asking him to do everything in his power to reduce the abortion time limit.