Critical decisions have to be taken by mothers who are about to deliver premature babies, as the babies are likely to suffer from long-term disabilities, and their survival rates are lower . Annie Janvier and Keith Barrington belonging to Canada's Royal Victoria Hospital reviewed the records the records of about 72 babies who ran the risk of premature birth during the 1999 to 2002 time period, and came to the conclusion that the conversations that the parents held with the doctors were poorly documented.
Three options are presented to women who are about to deliver premature babies, they are, 1) initiate intensive care for the new born baby or resuscitate the baby; 2) keeping the baby comfortable without resorting to medical care procedures; 3) resuscitate the baby if its condition is good, otherwise go in for comfort and care. It is apparent that the final decision of the parents is influenced by the atmosphere at the hospital, as 27 babies who were delivered at a gestation of 23 to 24 weeks were resuscitated.
The training that has been imparted to the staff at the hospital concerned also plays an important role in this. There are also instances wherein the will of the doctors concerned is imposed upon the parents.
A better documentation of the discussion between the parents and the doctors is necessary to ensure clarity in the decision taking process. An information sheet is provided to all parents who face a pre-term delivery at the Royal Victoria Hospital.