Premature babies: Clinic atlas for very early premature babies

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New web portal helps premature parents find a clinic

In Germany, around 9,000 children weighing less than 1,500 grams are born each year. A new internet portal will help parents and gynecologists find a suitable clinic for premature babies.

Around 9,000 premature babies weighing less than 1,500 grams Every year, around 9,000 children weighing less than 1,500 grams are born in Germany. Caring for especially premature babies, who often find space in the palm of your hand, requires a lot of experience. So far, parents and gynecologists have had little opportunity to see which facilities are actually routine in treating very light babies. But with a new website that should change now. The internet portal has recently gone online.

Jacks voluntarily disclose their data In this Germany atlas there are so far 93 jacks that voluntarily disclose how many children they treat each year whose birth weight is less than 1,500 grams. Nationwide there are almost 200 of these perinatal centers that can care for such babies. On the new web portal, parents can enter the postal code of their place of residence in a search mask and select the area in which they are looking for a perinatal center. The handles can be compared according to criteria such as the number of cases, treatment routine and survival rates.

Stricter guidelines decided "The website should offer a reliable decision-making aid," said Joachim Szecsenyi, Managing Director of the Göttingen AQUA Institute, who verified the clinic details and implemented the project on behalf of the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA). Already in July last year, the G-BA had passed stricter requirements for the care of premature babies. Representatives of health insurance companies, doctors, clinics and patients sit on this committee. In a second step, the publication of the data on the Internet portal should become mandatory for all German clinics, as announced by the G-BA and the AQUA Institute.

Only half of the clinics have disclosed their data According to information from the AQUA Institute, only about half of all clinics have so far disclosed their data. Szecsenyi said: "When hospitals voluntarily publish their data on the Internet, they show a high degree of transparency and that they are willing to continuously optimize their quality of treatment." only large special clinics are allowed to treat premature babies with a birth weight of up to 1,250 grams. The federal committee wanted to raise the minimum limit from 14 to 30 premature baby treatments per year, but the court said there was no scientific evidence that premature child mortality decreased linearly as the number of cases increased. A clinic earns more than 100,000 euros from the care of an extremely light premature baby.

Do not only trust the Internet The chairman of the federal association "The Premature Child", Hans-Jürgen Wirthl, believes that a reduction of the almost 200 perinatal centers is absolutely necessary for the quality improvement. Especially for very small centers, it is difficult to guarantee optimal care. In general, the chances of survival for very small premature babies have risen steadily over the past decades, and around 70 to 75 percent survive in 24 completed weeks of pregnancy. However, later on, many of them struggle with developmental delays, chronic respiratory diseases or motor disorders. The director of the pediatric clinic of the University Hospital Marburg, Rolf Maier, said that the new internet offer would create more transparency, but limited that these statistics were not so easy for laypersons to interpret. So parents shouldn't just trust the Internet.

Different causes of premature birth Causes of an extreme premature birth can include malformations of the child, disorders of the placenta and the uterus, but also a damaging way of life of the mother. Researchers who participated in a United Nations (UN) report on premature babies a few years ago attributed the global rise in premature births to various causes. In developed countries, for example, the growing prevalence of diseases of affluence (overweight, high blood pressure) as well as tobacco and alcohol consumption and late motherhood contribute to an increase in the number of premature babies, while in developing countries there are poor hygiene, lack of protection against infections, and a low level of medical care General knowledge and poor medical care are causing the rise in premature births. (ad)

Photo credit: N.Schmitz /

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