Background Outcome for births <27 w gestation in England in 2006 was studied. Admission rates of liveborn babies, n = 1762 are 37%, 86%, 95% and 98% at 23, 24, 25 and 26 w gestation.
Objective To study whether low admission rate of 23 w gestation babies is related to reluctance actively to stabilise these babies at birth.
Methods The frequency of interventions in relation to gestation was analysed using chi-squared trend analysis.
Results Of 23 w gestation babies, 83% were offered active support. Good response, assessed by heart-rate at 5 minutes was associated with increasing GA; there was an inverse relationship between GA and the proportion of deaths. See table.
Conclusions These data suggest that reduced admission rates at 23 w are related to less good response to resuscitation in these extremely immature babies and not to systematic reluctance actively to resuscitate.