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Guidelines Help Save Babies Born Extremely Early

New guidelines for preemies. Courtesy of Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

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-Learning to walk is a milestone in any child's life but for little Nicholas Matt, these steps are nearly miraculous. Nicholas was born at just 24 weeks, more than 3 months early. -He was 1 pound, 11 ounces, 11 inches long, tiny, tiny baby. I didn't even know babies could be born that small. -Many have been born that small but in the past, not many survived. If they did, they were sure to face serious health problems. Because of that, some didn't give these babies much of a chance but Dr. Edward Shepherd isn't one of them. If you view patients like that, they don't do, as well as they cut. So, our approach is that everyone of these kids has enormous potential. -With that in mind, Dr. Shepherd and a team at Nationwide Children's Hospital developed a new set of guidelines to care for these babies. Guidelines that regulate everything from humidity levels in their cribs to oxygen levels in their blood. From the way their skin is treated to the new trends they're given. The guidelines were tested on more than 200 babies and the results are impressive. Dr. Shepherd who is also with the Ohio State University says, "Years ago, the survival rate for extreme preemies was barely 10%, not anymore. -The rates of survival seem to be continuing to go up and I thought late this year, survival was 84%. -That's nearly 8 times more than just a generation to go. At a research union of these small babies, families get together to celebrate new milestones in their children's lives and to thank the stuff who made it possible for them to go home. -There are [unk] on top of the game, they knew the game plan, I knew what they were gonna do and how that you needed to be treated. -When you have a baby that's small, you never know what you're gonna get. You'll never know the outcome and we have the best case scenario. -At Nationwide Children's Hospital, this is Clark Powell reporting.