The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Thursday, January 06, 2005

Costs of incubator mania revealed

It would not be surprising if the result of the obscene medical pissing contest to test the limits of premature birth turned out to be less than stellar.

Now we have a study - published in the New England Journal of Medecine [1] - which
reports the progress of almost all babies born in the UK at 25 weeks gestation or less in 1995, now that they have reached primary school.

Of those that survived to six,
More than a fifth, 21%, function very poorly by comparison with their classmates and a further 20% have moderate learning difficulties. A further 31% were classified as "low normal", leaving just 28% with a "normal" score.

The mentality at work here may be judged by this quote:
"Nearly 90% were free of disabling cerebral palsy," said Neil Marlow, professor of neonatal medicine at Nottingham University and lead author of the paper. "That is not the thing we should most worry about."

He thinks a 10+% defective rate justifies a tick in the cerebral palsy column!

There is ample scope for research into how the craze for 'saving' premature babies at all costs however short of maturity took such a vice-like grip: is it the same in all developed countries, I wonder?

  1. Don't bother - it's pay-only.

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