American Babies 76 Times More Likely to Die than in Similar Countries

American Babies 76 Times More Likely to Die than in Similar Countries
Jan 10, 2018

The Washington Post reported the shocking statistic that babies born in our country are 76% more likely to die before they turn 1 year old than babies in countries with similar wealth.  Further, if a child born in our country does survive the first year, she has a 57% greater likelihood of dying prior to reaching her adult years.  This comes from a study published in the journal Health Affairs.

The article goes on to give several reasons for these alarming statistics, two of which we see in our offices every day.  The first is that older children suffer a significantly high rate of death by accident or injury.  One of the difficulties of the work we do is the tragic stories we hear on a daily basis of the loss of a child as result of an auto accident, substandard medical care, landowners who invite children onto their land and then fail to keep it safe from hazards or other forms of negligence by wrongdoers.  One of the blessings of our work is that we are able to help families through these difficult times.

Second, the article talks about the problems of our health care system and the relatively small amounts we spend on child health and welfare.  We often review cases where children receive substandard care because they are taken to facilities that are understaffed or healthcare workers are not providing quality care because they are seeing too many patients in too little time.  Because children can’t communicate what is going on with their bodies the same way adults can, it takes skilled healthcare workers with the time to examine and test children to appropriately diagnose and care for them.