Maryland Has an Above-Average Infant Mortality Rate
Data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows Maryland has an above-average infant mortality rate of 6.1 per 1,000 live births. Though we are not in the highest range (Mississippi has a rate of 8.3 fatalities per 1,000 live births), the infant death rate here is more than one and a half times higher than the lowest state in the nation—New Hampshire, which has a death rate of 3.6 infants per 1,000 live births.
Sadly, many neonatal deaths are caused by a doctor’s mistakes. They may fail to warn pregnant patients about risk factors, make incorrect recommendations during labor/delivery, or fail to provide a newborn with the care needed after a difficult birth. The more you communicate with your doctor before you go into labor, the more you can do to plan for potential challenges.
We Also Have an Above-Average Number of Low-Risk C-Sections
Cesarean delivery, also known as c-section, can be essential to protect a mother and baby from what could be a challenging and dangerous labor. This procedure has its place—but for mothers giving birth to:
- a single baby
- that is head-first
- and at term (37+ weeks),
the American Council of Gynecologists does not recommend elective c-sections because they are linked to a higher rate of neonatal mortality.
Around 28% of Maryland mothers-to-be opt for an unnecessary c-section, making us 42nd in the nation. By comparison, Alaska (1st in the nation) has a low-risk c-section rate under 17%. Pregnant women should keep in mind the risks of an elective c-section to babies:
- Respiratory complications
- Admission to the neonatal ICU
Mothers can also be at risk from a c-section, as it is a major surgery.
Conditions Are Worse in Rural Maryland
The rate of infant mortality is decreasing throughout our state, but the improvements are not equal. Parents in urban areas are much less likely to experience the tragic loss of a new child. After examining data from across the state, a public health expert from the University of Maryland identified the following factors that could play a role in this disparity:
- Difficulty accessing “adequate, timely, [and] coordinated” perinatal care
- Lack of access to pregnancy education
- Lack of access to perinatal nutrition education
- Shorter interval between pregnancies
Parents-to-be in rural Maryland may have to do more work to ensure they receive the care they need during a pregnancy and delivery. Especially when complications arise, having a team that can intervene in a timely manner can be the difference between a successful birth and a case of infant injury or fatality.
We Can Help with Birth Injury & Wrongful Death Claims
Our team at Brown & Barron, LLC has been advocating for the victims of medical malpractice for more than 75 years combined. It can be difficult to face the individuals whose actions changed your child’s life forever, but your family deserves justice. We are here to help you fight for compensation so your child can receive the best care possible and be supported through their life.