Children born extremely early (before 26 weeks gestation) have high mortality rates and high rates of neurological and developmental problems are reported in survivors.
The Epicure study was started in 1995 to quantify the survival of these babies and to study the long term health implications of such early births.
Data was collected from March 1st to December 31st on all babies born between 20 and 25 weeks 6 days of gestation in every maternity unit in the UK and the Republic of Ireland (276 units).
4004 births were registered, of these 811 were admitted for neonatal care and 314 were discharged home. Survival ranged from 2 babies (9% of admissions) at 22 weeks, 26 babies (20%) at 23 week, 100 babies (34%) at 24 weeks, to 186 babies (52%) at 25 weeks.
The health and development of these children has been assessed at 1, 2 , 6, 11 and 16 years. We are currently contacting these young adults now they are 19 years old.
The findings from these Epicure studies have provided information to both the public and professionals and are used to counsel parents about critical care decisions around birth.
See the website : www.epicure.ac.uk for more details
Phone: +44 (0) 20 3108 2045