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Pediatrics. 2019 Sep;144(3). pii: e20190113. doi: 10.1542/peds.2019-0113. Epub 2019 Aug 8.

Does It Matter if This Baby Is 22 or 23 Weeks?

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics and Bureau de l'Éthique Clinique, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada.
2
Palliative Care Specialty, Mother and Child Clinical Ethics Unit, Division of Neonatology, Research Center, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine, Montréal, Canada.
3
Division of Neonatology, The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.
4
NICU and.
5
NICU, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Canada; and.
6
Division of Neonatology, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
7
Department of Pediatrics, Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri jlantos@cmh.edu.

Abstract

A 530-g girl born at 22 weeks and 6 days' gestation (determined by an ultrasound at 11 weeks) was admitted to the NICU. Her mother had received prenatal steroids. At 12 hours of age, she was stable on low ventilator settings. Her blood pressure was fine. Her urine output was good. After counseling, her parents voiced understanding of the risks and wanted all available life-supporting measures. Many nurses were distressed that doctors were trying to save a "22-weeker." In the past, 4 infants born at 22 weeks' gestation had been admitted to that NICU, and all had died. The attending physician on call had to deal with many sick infants and the nurses' moral distress.

PMID:
31395622
DOI:
10.1542/peds.2019-0113

Conflict of interest statement

POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST: The authors have indicated they have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.

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