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Rate of Infant Deaths Falls; U.S. Still Leads in Mortality Rates

Infant mortality rates in the U.S. fell to their lowest level ever last year. Despite the decline, the United States still has surprisingly high rates of infant deaths when compared to other developed countries. Birth injury rates also continue to be troubling.

The Rates of Infant Mortality in the U.S.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rates of infant mortality in the U.S. have been gradually declining over the past few years. To be sure, from 2005 to 2013, the rate of infant mortality declined by 13 percent. Further, the rate declined an additional 2.3 percent in 2014. The current rate, according to available data, is 582.1 infant deaths per 100,000 live births. Infant mortality is caused by birth defects, preterm birth, SIDS, maternal complications, and birth injuries.

Why the Decline?

There are a number of factors that may be contributing to the continual decline in the number of infant deaths. For example, respiratory distress of infants declined by 14 percent over a one-year period. And, doctors have also been encouraged to stop scheduling cesarean sections and inducing labor early, both practices of which have been linked to higher risk of infant mortality. This year, delivery by cesarean section fell by two percent to 32.2 percent of all deliveries in the U.S., as reported on by a December 2015 article in The New York Times.

The Rate of Infant Mortality in the U.S. Higher Than in Other Developed Countries

Despite the decline, the United States still has a much higher infant mortality rate than do many other wealthy countries. In 2010, the rate of infant mortality in the U.S. was more than double that of the rate in both Sweden and Finland. As reported by a 2015 article in NBC News, the rate of infant mortality in the U.S. is adversely affected by factors such as obesity, induced labor practices, infection, diabetes, inflammation, being overweight, unplanned pregnancies, implantation of more than one embryo during in vitro fertilization, and other instances of poor health amongst pregnant women.

Is a Doctor Liable for an Infant’s Death?

In some cases, an infant death may occur as a direct result of medical malpractice. While there are many factors that can contribute to infant death that are beyond a doctor’s control, other times, an infant would not suffer an injury leading to death but for doctor negligence. Failing to properly monitor a mother and her fetus, failing to act with a high standard of care in the event that fetal distress is detected, inducing labor outside of the baby’s/mother’s best interest, cesarean section errors, medication errors, and more may all increase an infant’s risk of death.

What to Do if Your Baby Has Been Harmed

If you have lost your newborn, or if your newborn has been harmed, as a direct result of medical malpractice, do not wait to contact the experienced Philadelphia birth injury attorneys at the law firm of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. You can reach our offices today at (215) 567-3500.

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Cohen, Placitella & Roth, PC (215) 567-3500

2001 Market Street, Suite 2900 Philadelphia, PA 19103

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