WWLST in VLBW Neonates

A retrospective 18-center analysis of data on very low birth weight infants found that discussions about withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy (WWLST) occurred more often in infants 22 – 24 weeks gestation (27%) than in those 27-28 weeks (6%). There was variation across the units both in discussions about WWLST (6 – 30%), and actual WWLST (5 – 21%). Actual WWLST ensued after 80% of discussions. In the other 20% approximately half of infants survived until discharge but these infants had a much higher rate of neurodevelopmental impairment than those in whom WWLST discussions never occurred.

Outcomes of preterm infants following discussions about withdrawal of withholding life-support. James J et al. 2017