Directing more healthcare dollars to prenatal care and reproductive services might improve survival rates of premature babies in the US.
Low birth weight babies are at risk for a host of health problems and medical complications, and may also face developmental problems.
The US has a higher percentage of physicians, including those trained to treat premature newborns, than other countries. The US has about 6 neonatologists for every 10,000 live births, compared with 3.7 in Australia, 3.3 in Canada and 2.7 in the UK. Similarly, the US has more intensive care beds than other nations.
But when it came to the survival rates of infants weighing less than 2,500 grams (5.5 pounds), there was no notable difference between the US and other countries. In fact, the US had a higher infant death rate for infants born weighing more than 5.5 pounds, or normal-weight infants, the authors note.
Rates of infant mortality have declined in all developed countries as technology has improved over the past two decades. In the US, where more money is devoted to neonatal care, rates of infant mortality and low birth weight have remained higher than in other countries.
Pediatrics June 2002;109:1036-1043
British Medical Journal June 8, 2002;324:1353
DR. MERCOLA'S COMMENT:
The US spends more on sick babies, less on preventing sick babies, and still isn't improving survival compared to the other countries.
Clearly the key is prevention, not trying to put sick babies back together again that should have remained in their mom's uterus for four more months.
So what should every pregnant woman be on?
Many of you know the answer. If you do you are ahead of where I was just a mere two years ago.
I did not know that fish oil was the correct answer.
Earlier this year the British Medical Journal provided the answer. You can read the full text of the amazing article.
EPA and DHA deficiency are clearly major players here. Women who had less than two grams were 400% more likely to deliver prematurely.
There are two major problems with this study is that most of the women would have benefited from far more than two grams of fish oil, so the results would have been even more impressive.
Secondly, pregnant women and YOU should not eat fish, most all fish are irreversibly contaminated with mercury.
Too bad the researchers miss this incredible opportunity for promoting truth.
The US doesn't have to spend billions to resolve this problem, just some simple cod liver oil for most pregnant women would save many billions of dollars in just this area alone.
This is not even considering the massive reduction of autism, learning disorders, ADHD, cancers, heart attacks and just about every malady known to man that would result from increasing omega-3 fat intake.
So, don't wait ten years for the scientists to do more research and tell you, yes we now know you need fish oil supplements and highly recommend that you take them.
If properly dosed this is incredibly inexpensive with virtually no toxicity.
So, help save a life and convince a pregnant woman (or for that matter anyone) to start taking fish oil.