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Although infant mortality has been declining on a global scale, children younger than one year old are dying more often in the U.S. than in 20 other wealthy nations, including Sweden, Japan, Italy, Denmark and Canada. According to a study recently published in the journal Health Affairs, children have been dying more often in the U.S. than in similar countries since the 1980s. Researchers are attempting to determine why infant mortality rates in the U.S. are so high despite spending more money on health care than any other developed country in 2016.
Some suggest the high U.S. infant mortality rate is attributable to poverty; the U.S. child poverty rate is one of the highest among developed nations. Those who cannot afford quality health care are at higher risk of infant death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading causes of infant deaths in the U.S. in 2015 were birth defects, premature birth, low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), pregnancy complications and injuries such as suffocation.
Experts suggest that social factors such as educational level, income, housing safety and employment affect infant mortality rates. The CDC recently took a novel approach when investigating U.S. infant mortality rates from 2013 to 2015; state rates were examined by race and ethnicity. The study revealed that race, as well as poverty, are influential factors in infant mortality rates.
Mortality rates among infants of non-Hispanic black women were the highest, ranging from 8.27 per 1,000 live births in Massachusetts to 14.28 in Wisconsin. The mortality rate for infants of Hispanic women ranged from 3.94 in Iowa to 7.28 in Michigan. White women had the lowest rate of infant mortality, ranging from 2.52 in the District of Columbia to 7.04 in Arkansas. Children born in poorer states like Mississippi are more than twice as likely to die by the time they are one year old than children born in more affluent states like Massachusetts.
Birth injuries or fatalities may also be a result of medical malpractice. When medical professionals do not adhere to the generally accepted standard of care, children may suffer birth injuries such as cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, fetal distress, hydrocephalus, hypoxia and kernicterus. These injuries can cause permanent disability or even death. Negligent medical providers may be liable for damages including the costs associated with caring for the child’s disorder, pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
If your baby was injured or you lost your baby due to a medical provider’s negligence, contact a South Jersey birth injury lawyer at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. We work with leading medical experts to determine the cause of birth injuries and the true financial costs associated with them. Our experienced attorneys handle medical malpractice claims and seek to obtain compensation for victims of medical negligence across South Jersey and the greater Philadelphia area, including those in Cherry Hill, Philadelphia, and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Submit an online inquiry or call us at 856-354-9444 to schedule a free consultation.