17 October 2008

drop in infant mortality

Yesterday the New York Times reported a 2% decrease (in 2006 numbers, the most recent available) in infant mortality, but...
Infant deaths in the United States declined 2 percent in 2006, government researchers reported Wednesday, but the rate still remains well above that of most other industrialized countries and is one of many indicators suggesting that Americans pay more but get less from their health care system.

and here's an important part, directly linked to birth practices:
Preterm birth is a significant risk factor for infant death. From 2000 to 2005, the percentage of preterm births in the United States jumped 9 percent, to 12.7 percent of all births. The most rapid increase has been among late preterm births, or babies born at 34 to 36 weeks of gestation. Some 92 percent of these increased premature births are by Caesarean section, according to a recent study.

Dr. Alan Fleischman, medical director of the March of Dimes Foundation, said that a growing number of these late preterm births might be induced for reasons of convenience. “Women have always been concerned about the last few weeks of pregnancy as being onerous,” Dr. Fleischman said, “but what we hadn’t realized before is that the risks to the babies of early induction are quite substantial.”

I wish we humans would realize our hubris & understand that just becasue we can does not always mean we should.

I also hope that people consider these factors when evaluating our healthcare system in this country - the numbers are the numbers and they clearly indicate that spending the most (twice as much, in fact) is not getting us to where we need to be.

1 comment:

carriex3 said...

Rock on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tell it like it is.................