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Premature Births a Big Problem in Philadelphia

Preterm birth, or premature birth, refers to the birth of a baby before 37 weeks of gestation. In the United States, preterm births affect approximately one out of every 10 infants born, and are the greatest contributor to infant death, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Furthermore, preterm birth is also the leading cause of birth injuries, specifically long-term neurological complications in children. While the U.S. as a country has higher rates of preterm births than does the majority of developed nations, the rates of preterm birth in Philadelphia are especially troubling.

Philadelphia Rates of Preterm Birth Startling

According to 2013 data, the city of Philadelphia had a premature birth rate of 11.2 percent. Pennsylvania also has startlingly high rates – 9.4 percent. The goal set by the March of Dimes—a nonprofit organization that is committed to improving the health of mothers and babies—is a national preterm birth rate of 8.1 percent or below. In most of Europe, preterm birth rates are already below eight percent.

Why High Rates of Preterm Birth in Pennsylvania?

According to the March of Dimes’ latest report, there is a striking connection between the rates of preterm birth and racial and geographic disparities. Furthermore, research shows that poverty, stress, and smoking are related to a higher risk of preterm birth – these issues are most prevalent in urban areas, like many parts of Philadelphia, that are primarily composed of lower-income families. Additionally, those who are most at-risk for giving birth to a child before the full gestation period has been reached may also be less likely to have access to high-quality medical care. A lack of proper medical care—both prior to and during pregnancy—may also be part of the problem behind the high rates of preterm birth in Pennsylvania.

What Should I Do If I Have Given Birth to a Baby Prematurely?

As stated above, premature birth is the leading cause of infant death and neurological damage. If you have given birth to a preterm baby that has suffered complications as a direct result, and if you believe that the preterm birth was a direct cause of healthcare provider negligence, you may have a claim for damages. An experienced Philadelphia birth injury attorney can help you to learn more about your rights, your options, and whether or not you have cause for a civil action.

At Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C., our legal team is ready to meet with you today. We are dedicated to ensuring that the rights of mothers and their newborns are protected – if you believe that your baby is a birth injury victim, do not wait to call us. You can request a consultation online, or reach us at 215-567-3500 now.

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