Study Finds Fetal Deaths Outnumber Infant Deaths For The First Time

Published on November 14th, 2015

Study Finds Fetal Deaths Outnumber Infant Deaths For The First TimeFetal Deaths Outnumber Infant Deaths

A new report by the National Center for Health studies in the United States has found that fetal deaths outnumber infant deaths before their first birthdays. Despite minor fluctuations, the fetal mortality rate in the United States has remained relatively stagnant since 2006 while the infant mortality rate has declined 11% in the same time period.

Much of the public concern surrounding reproductive loss has focused on infant mortality, due in part to lesser knowledge of the likelihood, frequency, cause, and prevention strategies for fetal mortality. Racial disparities in fetal deaths also remain a puzzle—in 2013 non-Hispanic black women were twice as likely as non-Hispanic white or Asian women to have a stillborn baby. Now with infant death rates lowering, more medical research can be done to lower rates of stillbirth.

The CDC estimates that there are more than 1 million fetal losses per year in the United States though this study reported 23,595 stillbirths in 2013. Although the vast majority of these yearly fetal deaths occur early in pregnancy, most states in the U.S. only report fetal deaths at 20 weeks of gestation or more. The lack of full reporting for some states leads to an underestimation of the U.S. fetal mortality rate.

In Michigan, fetal death reporting is required at 20 weeks of gestation or a fetal weight of 400 grams. In 2013, while the U.S. fetal morality rate was 5.96 fetal deaths at 20 weeks of gestation or more per 1,000 live births and fetal deaths, Michigan’s own mortality rate came in at 5.04—within 1% of the national average.

If the cause of the fetus’ death was because of a medical practitioner’s negligence, state laws may not even allow you to file a lawsuit if the fetus dies at too young of a gestational age. But lawyers like Gerald Thurswell are fighting to change the law and hold doctors and hospitals accountable (see an article from WXYZ Detroit).

If you believe the death of your or a loved one’s baby was the result of medical negligence, please call Gerald Thurswell of Thurswell Law at (866) 354-5544. We will get your medical records and investigate this case at no charge to you. If and only if we believe malpractice is committed and we are successful, you pay a fee only if we collect money for you.

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