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Premature birth report reveals improved numbers for Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss.- March of Dimes has released their 2016 premature birth report card.  Unfortunately, the national average has increased, but that is not the case for Mississippi.

This year’s report card revealed that babies born in the U.S. have different chances of surviving and thriving based on the circumstances of where they were born.

The U.S. overall received a “C” grade at a preterm birth rate of 8.1 percent, while Mississippi received an “F” with a a preterm birth rate of 13 percent. While that number sounds high, it has decreased from previous years while the national average has increased.

“Mississippi has improved dramatically to improve the the preterm birth rate in the state,” said Senior Vice President and Chief MedicalOfficer for the March of Dimes Dr. Edward McCabe.  “The rate difference among races has narrowed over the past year. Mississippi was 49th, now you are 46th.”

The Mississippi Collaborative and Innovation Network has worked to get numbers down. A couple of years ago Mississippi was at a 22 percent rate, and that changed for the better when 80 percent of the state’s hospitals elected eliminate elected deliveries before 39 weeks. As a result, that number fell to four percent in just two years.

Screening for expectant mothers is also a necessary action.Mississippi hospitals and the March of Dimes are working to make that service more accessible.

This has encouraged March of Dimes to fund research to find the cause of preterm births and new medical advances that could prevent them.

For the full 2016 report card visit: reportcard.

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