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J Perinatol. 1998 Sep-Oct;18(5):347-51.

Impact of the perception of viability on resource allocation in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To understand how neonatologists' perceptions of viability impact their willingness to recommend or provide medical interventions for infants born at 23 to 24 weeks' gestation.

STUDY DESIGN:

A 25-question survey mailed to 3056 neonatologists in the United States in 1992 yielded 1131 responses. Seven hundred seventy-five (775 of 1131, 69%) reported they believed that the lower limit of viability was 23 to 24 weeks' gestation. These respondents were asked if they were willing to recommend or provide a series of medical interventions for infants born at 23 and 24 weeks' gestation.

RESULTS:

Most respondents would provide ventilation (82% and 95%) and surfactant (62% and 78%) for infants born at 23 and 24 weeks' gestation, respectively. The respondent's prediction of <100% mortality, infant factors, and parental wishes were significant predictors of willingness to resuscitate infants born at 23 weeks' gestation.

CONCLUSION:

There is considerable variation among neonatologists in their willingness to recommend or provide medical interventions for infants born at 23 to 24 weeks' gestation.

PMID:
9766409
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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