Report finds high number of premature births in Florida

A new study shows that although Florida’s premature birth rate has improved since four years ago, the state still has a high number of such births every year. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, Florida’s premature birth rate has dropped from 13.6 percent in 2013 to 9.9 percent in 2014.

The March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card released on Nov. 5 graded the premature birth rates of Florida’s cities using data from the previous year. Orlando, St. Petersburg and West Palm Beach each earned a “C” and were in line with Florida’s overall “C” grade. Miami, Tampa and Jacksonville received a “D” for their premature birth rates, while Fort Lauderdale earned an “F.”

A premature birth is defined as childbirth that occurs after less than 37 weeks of gestation. Premature babies are at a higher risk of developing serious health problems, including brain injuries like cerebral palsy. The March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization, is urging women to pay more attention to prenatal care in order to avoid premature births.

Doctors can help prevent premature births by taking the appropriate medical measures and precautions. They are responsible for monitoring the mother for warning signs such as gestational diabetes or high blood pressure, which may indicate a heightened risk of a premature delivery. If a physician fails to properly carry out prenatal testing or diagnose medical conditions, they may be liable for the birth injuries and health problems a premature baby may suffer.

It is important to note that determining fault can be more complicated than it might seem. If your child was injured and you believe someone else is fully or partially to blame, contact Chalik & Chalik to learn more about your rights.