"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Infant Mortality

In USA Today this week, there was an editorial on infant mortality and how the US ranks internationally.  Whatever the number, it is always too high.  We need to pull out all stops in keeping pregnant moms healthy, expanding pre natal care and giving guidance to new moms once they leave the hospital, as has been the case in Maryland. 

Now, I have to take issue with comparing the US to other countries.  Infant mortality statistics aren't reported consistently from state to state in the US, so how can we accurately report such statistics between countries.  And, for the US to rank below Cuba, I find that mind boggling.  A few years ago, a relative visited Cuba as part of a special education visit to discuss challenges, successes, etc., related to educating developmentally disabled children.  There were none.  Their idea of the developmentally disabled were children who were blind, deaf or couldn't speak.  The truly disabled don't survive.  (I will leave it to you to think about how that happens.)  So, we are going to compare our infant mortality statistics to Cuba, give me a break.  Also, countries that are now providing "clean surfaces" to deliver children rank better than the US, come on.  Does the US need to improve, most definitely, but don't rank us against countries that consistently undercount, manipulate or out and out lie and then chastise us for it.    Also, the counter point editorial in the same newspaper gives a great perspective on the inaccuracies and inconsistencies in the data.

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