Preterm counselling for parents

This page is intended to provide helpful information for paediatric doctors who are counselling parents about their preterm baby's chances of survival and longer-term outcomes. In combination with local hospital policies, the most useful information comes from the Epicure studies of preterm births in the UK.

Overall Outcomes

The following graph from Epicure shows the overall outcomes from different stages in the pregnancy, from the start of labour, through birth to admission for neonatal care.

* ie excluding those where a decision was recorded not to intervene after birth;
§ numbers imputed from whole dataset.
Source: Epicure Overall Outcomes page - [link]

Survival at 22 weeks - 26 weeks

The following graph from both Epicure studies (1995/2006) shows survival for babies from 22 - 26 weeks. The second Epicure study (right hand column) broke down deaths into "no active care" (where a decision had been made to aim for comfort rather than resuscitation) and "intended care" (active resuscitation). Source: Epicure Survival Overview - [link]

Helpful factsheets and additional information

Bliss have produced some useful factsheets, including information about the Epicure studies, giving more detail about the long-term developmental consequences of prematurity. A couple of particularly helpful sheets include:


  1. Epicure study website - [Link]
  2. Bliss website and publications - [Link]