Impact of the Perception of Viability on Resource Allocation in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Marilyn R. Sanders, Pamela K. Donohue, Mary Ann Oberdorf, Ted S. Rosenkrantz, Marilee C. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To understand how neonatologists' perceptions of viability impact their willingness to recommend or provide medical interventions for infants born at 23 to 24 weeks' gestation. STUDY DESIGN: A 25-question survey mailed to 3056 neonatologists in the United States in 1992 yielded 1131 responses. Seven hundred seventy-five (775 of 1131, 69%) reported they believed that the lower limit of viability was 23 to 24 weeks' gestation. These respondents were asked if they were willing to recommend or provide a series of medical interventions for infants born at 23 and 24 weeks' gestation. RESULTS: Most respondents would provide ventilation (82% and 95%) and surfactant (62% and 78%) for infants born at 23 and 24 weeks' gestation, respectively. The respondent's prediction of <100% mortality, infant factors, and parental wishes were significant predictors of willingness to resuscitate infants born at 23 weeks' gestation. CONCLUSION: There is considerable variation among neonatologists in their willingness to recommend or provide medical interventions for infants born at 23 to 24 weeks' gestation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-351
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Volume18
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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