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No treatment for a baby born at 21+5

(71 Posts)
Katz Wed 09-Sep-09 11:19:41

Very emotive topic but interested to know what others think,


bratnav Wed 09-Sep-09 11:23:40

Why did I read that when I have a 10 day old baby, I should have more sense sad

Katz Wed 09-Sep-09 11:25:23

sorry - should have put a sensitive topic warning.

WorzselMummage Wed 09-Sep-09 11:28:16

I think the right decision was made.

It must have been truly awful for the Mum but i don't think tiny tiny babies with such a low chance of survival (<1%) should be put though such trauma, they should be alowed to die peacefully in their mothers arms.

arolf Wed 09-Sep-09 11:30:30

I agree with worzel mummage - he may have seemed strong to the medically untrained mother, but the guidelines are there for a reason - let the poor baby go, peacefully, and don't prolong his suffering. Feel horrible for the mother, but it was, IMO, the correct decision by the medics.

Ponders Wed 09-Sep-09 11:31:51

There has to be a cut-off point, but how can they know whether a baby is at 21+1 or +3 or +5 or 22? Is it based purely on scan data? Because that's not an exact science...maybe the doctors should be allowed to make a decision on treatment after the baby has been born, so that they can judge its chances.

Of course even with treatment this one may not have survived, but for him never to have had that chance will be hard for his mother to deal with.

(I notice the DM manages to get his name wrong in one of the captions hmm)

TheDMshouldbeRivened Wed 09-Sep-09 11:47:12

I think the baby should have been given a chance.

LizzyBirdsworth Wed 09-Sep-09 12:10:00

I agree Rivened. I feel heartfelt sorry for this woman. sad

Despite the fact that this baby showed signs of life and was describe as a "fighter" he was denied medical attention....

Even if a small percentage of babies born at 21 weeks gestation survive, I would argue that this in itself justifies the medical intervention.

Terribly sad really...

wannaBe Wed 09-Sep-09 12:37:51

the youngest baby to survive was born at 22 weeks.

It must be heartbreaking for the mother but there does have to be a cut-off point.

As I said on the other thread, I think the problem is that we've got to a point where we believe that medical science can do everything, when in reality, it can't, and some babies are just born too soon.

I wouldn't want to be the parent though, nor would I want to be the doctor who had to make the decision.

LuluMaman Wed 09-Sep-09 12:48:20

I agree with worzsel & wannabe

the mother had 2 hours holding her baby, 2 hours of being with him, that had he been taken to SCBU, she would not have had. aggresive treatment might have prolonged his life for a few hours or days.

there is never a clear cut right answer is there?

it seems that 24 weeks is a point at which a baby can be expected to be helped and to survive

she had problems with the pregnancy it says ,and it might have been that thi sbaby was never going to make it to term and would not have lived, but it is impossible to say without knowing what problems, but to deliver that early, something significant was wrong.or it was just a terrible, terrible case of bad, rotten luck.

some babies just will not make it, as awful as that is. not everyone can be saved.

i feel terribly sorry for the mother and her family.

it sounds as though the doctors could have been a lot more sympathetic to her aswell

Stereophonic Wed 09-Sep-09 14:16:11

I don't understand. Was the decision not to try and save him based solely on the gestation? If so this seems odd for the sake of 2 days. Even if there has to be a cut off point, surely some flexibility needs to be there? However if the decision was made based on the likelihood of THAT baby surviving then I think we have to trust that the right decidsion was hopefully made. Surely individual circumstances must be taken into account?

Tortington Wed 09-Sep-09 14:23:47

i dont know why there has to be a cut of point

Curiousmama Wed 09-Sep-09 14:29:05

No that's wrong IMO. If there had to be a cut off point years ago then lots more babies would've died. Medicine is advancing and only by trying to save babies will they know how well.
Very sad for the mother sad

FioFioFio Wed 09-Sep-09 14:29:46

it is very unusual for babies born so early to be 'perfectly healthy' though. I can understand her pain though sad

thatsnotmymonster Wed 09-Sep-09 14:30:03

I agree that in most cases it is better to let the baby die in peace and not prolong the agony. I don't think it is right to just stand back and say well if it was 2 days later we would've tried to save him...

I definitely think that women who are 20+ weeks gestation should be given medical treatment to try to stop/delay labour and steroids for the baby's lungs.

WorzselMummage Wed 09-Sep-09 14:31:20

Because it is inhumane to put a tiny baby with no chance of life through hours and hours of invasive and painfull medical procedures ?

Because in the long term the mother ( in this case ) will cherish the short time she had with her son, time she never would have been able to get back if he had be admitted.

Or because it costs more than £1000 a day to keep a baby in NICU ?

The Drs who make these decisions know what they are talking about.

22 weeks babies do not survive.

rempy Wed 09-Sep-09 14:33:35

Very upsetting, but babies that early do not have sufficiently developed lungs to breath air. There is an absolute physiological limit.

Be very cautious about comparisons to the states - they do not do dating scans regularly, so dates are from conception, and therefore less accurate.

Our dating scans, done in the right window, (ideally 8 - 13 weeks are very accurate.

WorzselMummage Wed 09-Sep-09 14:34:10

I also doubt she was told if he was 2 days older they would have helpd him, my ds almost arrived at nerly 23 weeks and we were told from the off that nothing would have been done to try and 'help' him.

louii Wed 09-Sep-09 14:34:49

They should have tried to do something, that poor poor woman, heartbreaking.

Even worse they did not give her steriods or try to stop contractions, i am nearly 20 weeks pregnant myself and that story has really upset me.

Was the poor baby in pain and suffering for 2 hours, a Dr would not even examine it, shocking.

GypsyMoth Wed 09-Sep-09 14:34:52

sad,but happens alot.

louii Wed 09-Sep-09 14:38:37

"No that's wrong IMO. If there had to be a cut off point years ago then lots more babies would've died. Medicine is advancing and only by trying to save babies will they know how well."

My brother was born at 29 weeks 30 years ago next month, my mum had to fight for him and sit at his incubater as they were planning to withdraw or withhold treatment.

That was very very premature for the time, he has no issues, apart from bad eyesight. Shoudl tehy not have bothered trying.

Tidey Wed 09-Sep-09 14:39:18

The poor woman sad they should at least have tried to halt the labour. Some of the comments on that story are shock

notevenamousie Wed 09-Sep-09 14:41:22

Steroids would have made no difference.
In no unit in the country would she have been given tocolysis (to stop contractions).
Any attempt to claim that this poor little one was potentially viable is just giving the mother false hope. Medical science cannot do everything. Sometimes we need doctors to be braver and to say, there is nothing we can do but keep him comfortable. It is very sad, that is for certain. Poor communication skills are utterly inexcusable. But I don't think any other maternity unit would have managed this differently.

LuluMaman Wed 09-Sep-09 14:42:11

there has to be a cut off because babies cannot survive too early. and the ramifactions of tiny , tiny prem babies being given aggressive treatment to survive, with no idea how they will be in the future is an ethical minefield.

there has to be a cut off to co -exist alongside the law on terminations too, surely?

also, NICUs do not have unlimited beds , there has to be resources to save and nurse the saveable.

LuluMaman Wed 09-Sep-09 14:43:05

read something else that said the mother has history of miscarriage and had had problems this pregnancy and it might have been inevitable this baby was going to be born too early

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