|Posted by Andie Gunter on January 27, 2011 at 11:40 AM|
The Leapfrog Group, a non-profit organization that compares hospitals on national standards of safety and quality, released a Call to Action this week: Protect Mothers and Babies from Unnecessary Harm. From the press release:
The employer-driven hospital quality watchdog, The Leapfrog Group, issued a Call to Action in response to its new data finding that thousands of babies are electively scheduled for delivery too early, resulting in a higher likelihood of death, being admitted to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and life-long health problems.
The group asked hospitals across the country to voluntarily report their rates of early elective births- inductions or cesareans without a medical indication happening before 39 weeks gestation. The rates are out of births occurring between 37-39 weeks. Some hospitals had a rate of zero, showing that it is possible to avoid early elective births all together. Other hospitals had rates of 50% or higher.
The March of Dimes lists these possible complications for babies born too soon:
The Leapfrog Group released this list of hospitals and their rates of early elective births. You are encouraged to use the information when deciding where to give birth. If your hospital chose not to respond, consider writing them a letter and telling them the public needs access to this information.
From Leapfrog's press release:
“Hospitals, health plans, providers, and communities need to do more to protect women and babies from this harmful practice,” said Leapfrog CEO Leah Binder. “And women need to protect themselves by refusing to schedule their deliveries before 39 weeks without a sound medical reason, and by knowing the facts about the hospitals they plan to deliver in.” She noted that currently only hospitals that report to Leapfrog’s annual hospital survey are making their rates of early elective deliveries public. “Every hospital should publicly report on their rate and actively prevent the practice, and every woman planning to give birth should demand the information,” Binder added.