At the Birmingham Maternity Hospital the mean cost of caring for surviving infants who require neonatal intensive care ranges from approximately pounds 2500 (for infants above 1500 g birthweight), to pounds 5500 (for infants 1000 to 1499 g birthweight), to pounds 10 000 (for infants less than 1000 g birthweight). The mean cost of caring for non-survivors is pounds 1000 or less, with little difference between the birthweight groups. These figures are based on the lengths of stay in three treatment regimens-intensive care, high dependency care, and special care-the average daily costs of which are estimated to be pounds 235, pounds 122, and pounds 43 respectively. The survival of very low birthweight infants (less than 1500 g) at this hospital has improved from 42% to 73% since the introduction of regional funding for neonatal intensive care. This increase in survival has been brought about without undue disability in the survivors.
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