The incidence of mental defect, visual and hearing disability, major neurological handicap, and such minor neurological handicap as can be detected on examination at 2--9 years without formal intelligence testing, is presented among survivors of neonatal mechanical ventilation at Hammersmith Hospital between the years 1966--1973 inclusive. 77(21%) of 367 children survived, over three-quarters of them being born elsewhere. 3 died before the age of 6 months, 2 suddenly and unexpectedly at home, the third accidentally. 1 child was lost to follow up. 11 (15%) of the remaining 73 children had neurological sequelae as defined. In two-thirds this was moderate to severe. Spastic diplegia may no longer be the commonest form of cerebral palsy among those of low birthweight, particularly those surviving severe neonatal illness.
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