Aim. The aim of this study was to evaluate survival rates in a single Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) (period 2002-2007), with a special focus on the survival data and outcome at one-year of corrected age for infants born at 23-25 weeks of gestation. Methods. All infants who had evidence of heart activity at birth were actively resuscitated, regardless of birth weight or gestational age. Survival rate was calculated as a function of the following variables: birth weight and gestational category; gender in infants of birth weight ≤1000 g ; appropriate (AGA) or small (SGA) weight for gestational age; inborn or outborn. Twenty-eight newborns (23-25 weeks of gestation) completed follow-up at one-year of corrected age. Results. During the examined period, no infants died in the delivery room; 833 newborns were admitted to the NICU. Overall survival rates were as following: <500 g (37%), 501-750 g (59%), 751-1000 g (82%), 1001-1250 g (96%), 1251-1500 g (97%), 1501-2000 g (100%), 2001-2500 g (98%), >2500 g (99%); 23-25 weeks of gestation (50%); 26-27 weeks (77%), 28-32 weeks (90%); males ≤1000 g (68%), females ≤1000 g (68%); AGA ≤1000 g (63%), SGA ≤1000 g (79%), AGA ≤28 weeks (63%), SGA ≤28 weeks (67%); inborn (54%), outborn (25%). A fraction of 64% (infants of 23-25 weeks of gestation) did not show handicap at one-year of corrected age, while 25% presented severe, 7% moderate, and 4% mild handicaps. Conclusion. High rate of survival without handicap at one-year of corrected age at extremely low gestational age and the chance of improvements in neonatal care for newborn ≤24 weeks, indicate the appropriateness for our strategy of resuscitating all newborns with evidence of heart activity in the delivery room.
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