Throughout the course of human history, infant mortality rates have been fairly high. It is difficult for children born into harsh situations to survive. As medical technology has gotten better, the rates in much of the developed world have improved. However, there is still cause for concern.
Approximately 4 out of every 1,000 babies who are both in the U.S. pass away before they have lived for four weeks. This is under 1% of all cases, but you can still imagine how many babies do not make it when you consider the sheer amount of births over a year.
All of these qualify as neonatal deaths. They occur when a baby passes away within its first 28 days. That first month of life can be difficult, and it’s seen as a very fragile stage. Even so, this is naturally a very traumatic experience for parents.
The risk is not the same for everyone. For instance, the highest rates of neonatal death belong to non-Hispanic black women. This can absolutely happen to anyone, of any race and background, but it is still very important for those facing higher risks to understand this from the beginning.
Causes of death vary widely, of course, but the three most common are birth defects, low birth weight and premature birth. These could be connected; for instance, a premature baby is far more likely to have an excessively low birth weight.
Doctors need to understand the risks and take the proper steps during labor, delivery and post-birth care. Those who think a doctor’s mistakes contributed to the death have to know what legal steps to take.