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Viability Of Children

A child may be born alive, but may not be viable, by which is meant that

it is not endowed with a capacity of maintaining its life. Speaking

generally, 180 days represents the lowest limit at which a child is

viable, but prolonged survival under these circumstances is the

exception. Many cases, however, have been recorded in which children

born at six months have been reared. The signs of immaturity and

maturity may be
thus tabulated:


Centre of body high; head Strong movements and cries as soon

disproportionate in size; membrana as born; body clear, red colour,

pupillaris present; testicles coated with sebaceous matter; mouth,

undescended; deep red colour of nostrils, eyelids, and ears, open;

parts of generation; intense red skull somewhat firm, and fontanelles

colour, mottled appearance, and not far apart; hair, eyebrows, and

downy covering, of skin; nails not nails, perfectly developed;

formed; feeble movements; testicles descended; free discharge

inability to suck; necessity for of urine and meconium; power of

artificial heat; almost unbroken suction, indicated by seizure on the

sleep; rare and imperfect nipple or a finger placed in the

discharges of urine and meconium; mouth.

closed state of mouth, eyelids,

and nostrils.