For a newborn to survive at birth, the lungs must have
the capacity to “breathe” and deliver oxygen to the body.
There is abundant evidence that developing lungs are
capable of doing so at approximately 24 weeks of
gestation (although there is inherent variability in
development even at 24 weeks.****

In our institution, the average length of stay for a
surviving infant born at 24 weeks estimated
gestational age is approximately 120 days. If you
lower that estimate to 23 weeks and 5 days, the
average length of stay increases to approximately
160 days. A one or two day difference in estimating gestational age may have serious implications,
as it relates to survival chances as well as long-
term complications for the baby. Thus accurate
estimation of gestational age, as mentioned
previously, is critical.****
   During a prolonged hospitalization, these
infants are at high risk for developing medical
and/or or surgical conditions including brain
bleeds, recurrent infections, serious damage
to the eyes, perforation or infection in the
intestines, as well as being subjected to multiple
medical interventions to keep them alive. For
the infants who do survive, they often need
multiple hospital revisits.  All extremely
premature infants will require early
intervention, to help with their universal
weakness and many other sensory problems.
These interventions are essential to the recovery