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Efforts to Lower Premature Birth Rates in Tri-State

Updated: Monday, November 4 2013, 09:26 AM EST
CINCINNATI (WKRC) -- When it comes to premature births, Ohio is still higher than the national average. That's the latest from a new report card released by the March of Dimes. Medical reporter Liz Bonis shares details in today's Medical Edge.

Jackson is now five years old and much like any other child his age but his mom Mackenzie Curt says he was born ten weeks early due to a heart condition. He weighed little more than three pounds. "His heart rate returned to normal in the delivery, then we basically began that battle of getting him bigger, getting him diagnosed, getting him through that journey where he should have still been in my tummy."

That's the important thing says says Doctor Vivek Narendran. No matter how much technology is available, staying inside mom until full delivery is always what's best for baby.

He says when it comes to this 2013 premature birth report card just released by the March of Dimes we have a little work to do. Overall the nation gets a C grade, eleven and a half percent of babies born are prematurely. Ohio and Kentucky are above 12 percent, Indiana is slightly better at ten point nine.

In the states that did improve, "things that they've done, decreased uninsured women of child bearing age, decreased the number of women smoking of childbearing age, and they've also reduced what's known as elective deliveries and induction before you become full term or complete pregnancy."

Jackson is well now, but its costly to get premature babies well according to the Institute of Medicine. "It cost 26 billion dollars for the care of premature babies for a year."

What may be even more significant however isn't just what happens when these babies are younger and born too early, it's what happens later in life. It may have a significant impact on growth, development, and brain health in the future.

Jackson has ADHD and what's called sensory processing disorder, "which basically just means that he doesn't feel and process sensories the way a typical kid would."

Still his mom Mackenzie says he is one of the lucky ones which is why she's raising awareness with the March of Dimes of the best ways to prevent  of a tiny problem with big consequences.

Efforts to Lower Premature Birth Rates in Tri-State

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