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Healthy People 2020: Infant Mortality

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According to Healthy People 2020, "Improving the well-being of mothers, infants, and children, is an important public health goal for the United States. Their well-being determines the health of the next generation and can help predict future public health challenges for families, communities, and the health care system" (Healthy People 2020, 2015). Infant mortality is defined as the death of an infant before his or her first birthday, while fetal mortality is defined as the intrauterine death of a fetus at any gestational age (MMRW, 2013 and MacDorman, Kirmeyer & Wilson, 2012). In the United States an estimated 13,000 fetal deaths occurred ≥ 28 weeks gestation making up 28% of all perinatal deaths in 2006, the latest year with available national data (Lee,…show more content…
Infant deaths in the neonatal period are caused by complications arising from preterm births, birth defects, maternal health conditions, complications of labor and delivery, and lack of access to appropriate care at the time of delivery. Infant deaths in the post-neonatal period are driven by sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) (including sudden infant death syndrome [SIDS]), injury, and infection (MMRW, 2013). An increasing proportion of post-neonatal infant deaths occur among infants who were born preterm but survived the neonatal period (Callaghan, 2006). On the other hand there is lesser knowledge of the incidence and etilogy of fetal mortality which according to MacDorman et al, makes fetal mortality an overlooked public health issue. Lee et al, echoed the same idea when they said infant mortality has been the main focus of public health programming while fetal deaths have gone untargeted. However, with the decrease in infant mortality rates there have been recent approaches such as perinatal period of risk analysis framework (PPOR) that highlight the need to include fetal
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