(Vienna, 16 November 2019 ) More than 200 guests, including many premature babies, their parents and grandparents, attended the "Party for Premature Babies" held yesterday (Friday) to mark World Prematurity Day at MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital. The high spot of the party, held in MedUni Vienna's Lecture Center in Vienna General Hospital – which included many exciting hands-on activities for kids and talks at the Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine – was a colourful light show in purple and white (the official colours of the World Day), during which a balloon was released into the night sky for each of the 200 premature babies born every year at MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital.
Every year, MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital care for around 200 children born before the 32nd week of gestation – 100 of these being born between weeks 23 and 27, that is to say as much as 17 weeks premature. Worldwide, one in every ten children is "prem". Due to the huge medical advances made in Vienna, the survival rates for the most premature babies are the best in the world.
These successes are based on a large number of quality improvement initiatives and new therapies, ranging from Less Invasive Surfactant Administration (LISA), which is gentler on the lungs, through to strategies for minimising mechanical ventilation or avoiding it altogether.
Other key areas are patient safety, studies into the optimum nutrition of premature babies, methods for controlling blood pressure management and investigations into the developing gut microbiome of premature babies and its impact upon the immune system and brain development.