Indian experts lay down policy on foetal viability and resuscitation

Viability is defined as more than 28 weeks and more than 1 kg.

Members of prominent associations including Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP), Indian Medical Association (IMA) and National Neonatal Forum of India (NNF) came together and presented their views on the recent issues in healthcare settings. Dr. Anupam Sachdeva (President, IAP), Dr. K K Aggarwal (President, IMA), Dr. Alok Bhandari (Secretary, NNF), Dr. RN Tandon, (Secretary General, IMA) and Dr. SatishTyagi (State Secretary, Delhi Medical Association) were present at the press conference to speak on the same.

In the light of the recent cases leading to doctor-patient mistrust, the committees sat together and jointly studied the cases. Having recognised the issues, they felt the need of having defined principles to tackle such situations. Specifically, the three committees laid down some guidelines pertaining to neonatal resuscitation and infant viability in India. Resuscitation is defined as the corrections of physiological disorders in a child such as lack of breathing or heartbeat whereas viability is a stage when foetus becomes capable of living independently. Read here Fathers of premature babies usually take more stress than mothers, says study

In the absence of a government guideline, the committees have laid down the following policy which needs to be adhered to: Viability is defined as more than 28 weeks and more than 1 kg. Anything less than that level of treatment has to be decided on case to case basis based on chances of intact survival, informed consent, taking into consideration social determinants of health. Basic care should not be compromised. Read here renowned doctors came together to pledge for preemies

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They also mentioned that the issue of initiation of resuscitation for extremely premature babies is a grey area. When the foetus is 28 weeks or more, all efforts should be made to ensure that it survives, between 24-28 weeks, resuscitation can be done and till 24 weeks, the pregnancy can be terminated as is being suggested by various organisations and is under review by the Ministry of Health.

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