Survival Statistics

What are the chances that my baby will survive?

Many factors determine an individual baby’s chances of survival. The most important factors are:

  • The baby’s gestational age (number of completed weeks of pregnancy at the time of birth
  • The baby’s weight
  • The presence or absence of breathing problems
  • The presence or absence of congenital abnormalities or malformations
  • The presence or absence of other severe diseases, especially infection

In the smallest babies, gestational age is usually most important because it determines if the baby’s organs, particularly the lungs, have developed enough to allow the baby to live within the limits of our current technology. Your baby’s doctor will be able to give you the best estimate of your baby’s chances since he/she can take into consideration many of the above factors. But, no estimate is perfect. Some babies suddenly get sick and die unexpectedly; others defy all odds. General estimates of survival for babies who receive neonatal intensive care are below:


Source: NSW Neonatal Intensive Care Study (NICUS) data for 2001 – 2004.

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The material provided here is for informational purposes only and should not replace, or be used as a substitute for, professional medical advice