The survival outcomes of extremely premature babies varies greatly between different hospitals, possibly due to the different medical treatment that they receive. In relation to this, an article has just been published (New England Journal of Medicine 372, 1801-1811, 2015) which evaluated 4987 infants with no congenital abnormalities who were born before week 27 of gestation. Clinical progress was followed-up in 4704 of these children for 18 to 22 months. Data were collected from 24 hospitals between 2006 and 2011. The results indicate that active treatment was applied in 22.1 % of children born at 22 weeks, while this percentage rose to 99.8% in those born at 26 weeks. In infants born at 22 weeks, the percentage of those who survived was 5.1%, while 3.4% survived without severe complications. At 26 weeks, these figures were 81.4% and 75.6%, respectively. Differences in the therapeutic regimens between the different hospitals might explain the discrepancies in the results.
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