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Number of premature babies rising in Czech Republic

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Prague, Nov 2 (CTK) – The number of premature babies, born even as early as in the 24th week of pregnancy and weighing about 0.5 kilo, has been rising in the Czech Republic since 2013, and one in 12 babies is born prematurely now, daily Pravo writes on Wednesday.

It says the birth rate has been increasing, too, and this year, the number of newborn babies will exceed 110,000 for the first time in 15 years.

“In the 1990s, 3 percent of premature babies were born in the Czech Republic, now it is up to 8.3 percent. One in ten babies is born prematurely in the world. In our country, it is one in 12,” Milena Dokoupilova, head doctor of the neonatal ward of the Prague-Na Homolce hospital, told Pravo.

“The reason is a higher age of mothers that increases various health risks and a higher number of multiple pregnancies that are always accompanied by the risk of premature birth,” Dokoupilova said.

“The smallest baby we have managed to save weighed 380 grammes,” Dokoupilova said, adding that this is a certain technical weight limit for saving a premature baby.

According to the Czech legislation, the vitality of foetus or its chance of survival is counted as of the 24th week of pregnancy, Pravo writes.

If a premature baby does not show signs of life, doctors always ask the parents is they should resuscitate the baby, Dokoupilova said.

Czech parents of premature babies will celebrate the World Prematurity Day, observed on November 17, in Prague on November 11 when an expert conference on the issue is held along with a lantern march and a cultural programme in the evening, Pravo writes.

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