Preterm birth is a major challenge for the doctors as most neonatal and infant deaths occur in preterm infants. According to researchers, birth weight and prematurity are important risk factors for various complications such as bleeding in the brain, development of hydrocephalus (dilatation of the fluid-filled cavities or ventricles in the brain), cerebral palsy, mental retardation, learning disorders, vision, speech and hearing problems.
Weight at different gestational ages: The weight of a premature baby depends on the gestational age. The following table gives an approximate of how much premature babies weigh at various gestational age (a premature baby may weigh less or more than the weight given in the table).
Weight at different gestational ages
24 weeks 600 grams
25 weeks 660 grams
26 weeks 760 grams
27 weeks 875 grams
28 weeks 1005 grams
29 weeks 1153 grams
30 weeks 1319 grams
31 weeks 1502 grams
32 weeks 1702 grams
33 weeks 1918 grams
34 weeks 2146 grams
35 weeks 2383 grams
36 weeks 2622 grams
Outcomes for gestational age
Based on the gestational age preterm babies can be categorised as:
The outcome of preterm babies depends on the gestational age, the complications that might develop and how much the premature babies weigh. Most complications and death occur in extremely preterm babies who weigh much less than a normal term infant.
Due to advances in medical care, the survival of premature babies has improved considerably. More than 90% of premature babies who weigh more than 800 grams survive and more than 60% of preterm babies who weigh more than 500 grams survive. Continued research and advances will probably further improve the survival rate of premature babies.
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