Analysis

Neonatal nursing: new guidelines on caring for very premature babies

BAPM guidelines outline the stark decisions that may arise when caring for extremely premature babies
Picture shows a premature baby asleep in an incubator. New guidelines for nurses examine the stark decisions that arise when caring for extremely premature babies.

New British Association of Perinatal Medicine guidelines examine the stark decisions that arise when caring for babies born before 27 weeks

  • Babies born at 22 weeks should now be considered for 'active treatment'
  • Guidelines detail chances of survival and risks of severe disability
  • Babies’ risk category gives strong weighting to views of parents

Every year about 3,000 babies are born before 27 weeks' gestation. Deciding what to do and how to do it when caring for these babies are among the trickiest decisions faced by maternity and neonatal teams, as well as parents.

New guidelines from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine (BAPM) attempt to help nurses and other staff through the dilemmas of caring for extremely premature babies.

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