Despite advances in medical science in recent decades, the overall stillbirth infant death rate in the United States remains relatively high, according to a recent medical study as reported by HealthDay News.
"Our findings illustrate that past progress has now been offset by these newly identified risks," said study lead author Cande Ananth, chief of epidemiology and biostatistics in the Department of Obstetrics, gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey, according to HealthDay News.
So why are stillbirth infant death rates still so high? Who is most at risk? You can find the answers to these questions and other important information below, courtesy of The Lancione Law Firm near Cleveland, Ohio.
Stillbirth infant death rate remains high.
The recent scientific study published in The Lancet was based on statistics compiled by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. Such statistics included birth data from 1980 to 2020 in all 50 states and Washington, DC.
In 1980, there were 10 stillbirths for every 1,000 live birth deliveries, HealthDay News reported. In 2005, there were only 5 stillbirths for every 1,000 life birth deliveries. But since 2005, "the (stillbirth) rate today is about the same as it was more than a decade ago," HealthDay News reported.
Why do stillbirths continue to happen?
While stillbirth deaths have declined in recent years due to "smoking and alcohol use before and during pregnancy… these gains have been countered by substantial increases in other risk factors, like obesity and structural racism," Ananth said in a statement published by HealthDay News.
In addition, Ananth told HealthDay News that researchers found a strong link between an increased risk of stillbirth and children born in a particular year, which medical researchers refer to as birth cohort. "We have age of the mother, year of delivery and the birth cohort. All three factors are time-related and intertwined," Ananth said.
Who is most at risk?
The recent study identified one particular group most at risk of having a stillbirth – Black women. While stillbirth rates have declined in the last 40 years among white women, Black stillbirth rates have remained relatively unchanged, HealthDay News reported.
"Black women have about twice as many stillbirths as white women, with 17.4 per 1,000 in 1980 compared to 9.2 per 1,000 for white women," HealthDay News reported. "In 2020, stillbirths experienced by Black women were 10.1 per 1,000 compared to 5 per 1,000 in white women."
How can an attorney help?
Some stillbirths occur due to medical negligence or medical malpractice. But proving that medical errors caused a stillbirth can be extremely challenging. That's because many medical professionals refuse to admit that they did anything wrong, such as not performing standard medical tests during pregnancy, failing to consider maternal risk factors, or misdiagnosing an infant's medical condition.
This is why it's important to make sure you fully understand your legal rights. At The Lancione Law Firm, attorney John A. Lancione has extensive experience handling complex cases and thoroughly understands how the legal system works when it comes to stillbirth and infant death.