As a NICU nurse and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner student (more on that next week), I feel that the public needs a wake-up call on extreme prematurity. My professional experiences have shaped my personal views in addition to being the mother of both our premature boys. Seeing Carson and Elias born at 30 and 25 weeks gestation was shocking to say the least. Watching the hardships and hurdles they have gone through in the past six and four years has been impossible at times. Our boys are fairly unscathed from their prematurity based on their gestational ages even though both will deal with long term impacts of early birth for their lifetimes. To hear about a campaign to change the law in the UK based on the birth and death of a 21 week fetus and the misconceptions surrounding extreme prematurity is disheartening.
Stop over to Reality Rounds for a realistic view of extreme prematurity and response to the Justice for Jayden movement entitled Is letting a 21 week premature baby die considered health care rationing?. She has it right and hopefully the public perception will shift towards the actual impact of extreme prematurity instead of becoming wrapped up in the hype of "miracle" stories that the press promotes.