The death rate of infants deemed premature because they were born before the 37th week of pregnancy has been definitely lowered in America, but work still needs to be done. This is the 7th year the death rate has lowered, meeting the federal Healthy People 2020 goal 7 years early. But America still rates a C in mortality rates for preterm deaths in the world. In 2012 the preterm death rate was so bad it was the same as Somalia’s preterm death rate. Rating 131st out of 184.
So why the high mortality rate? It is attributed to lack of healthcare insurance. Preterm babies need extensive medical care and therapies with the majority of deaths being contributed to not being able to receive proper care. Another factor of preterm deaths is the fact women were choosing to have c-sections preterm, but thankfully that trend has slowed. That also may be a contributing factor to the death rate lowering.
Some states such as New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Oregon and California did rate A’s in the ability to save more preterm babies. While Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi had an F rating. In Mississippi almost a quarter of preterm deaths were to uninsured mothers. The cost of having a preterm baby is around $54,000 in care and treatment while a healthy newborn only costs about $4,000.
Big thanks to friend of the site Jared Haftel for this happy news tip!