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'No improvement' on pre 24 week baby survival rates

Despite ten years in which medical science has been trying to improve the lives of premature babies, little has changed according to new research published in the British Medical Journal.

Although more babies survived shortly after extreme premature births in England in 2006 compared with 1995, the number with major medical conditions on leaving hospital remained largely unchanged.

Lesley Freeman, who had twins at 25 weeks, one survived who is now three but his twin sister did not, told the Today programme's Sarah Montague that her son is "a fantastic little boy" who, despite slight physical difficulties, can keep up with keep up with his friends.

Neil Marlow, professor of neonatal medicine at the UCL Institute for Women's Health and the author of the research, explained that "the interventions that we apply before 24 weeks are very much the same as we apply after 24 weeks."

Recent technology has provided "no significant improvements below 24 weeks," he added.

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