FL Makes Dangerous Choices on Early Births
Too many Florida doctors and pregnant women are still opting for scheduled early births -- either through elective induction or C-section -- and that’s reflected in the latest data from the Leapfrog Group. That organization encourages changes in the health-care system that improve patient safety and lowers costs.
The nation as a whole is making progress on fighting early scheduled births, according to an article on the study in Kaiser Health News. But a chart of state averages indicates that Florida, along with Texas and a few other states, still hasn’t gotten the message, which is: Babies delivered too soon -- before the 39th week -- aren’t as healthy as they should and could be.
In Florida in 2011, the average rate for early elective deliveries was 13.2 percent; the rate increased to 18.2 percent in 2012, according to a survey by the Leapfrog Group.
A separate chart showing rates of early deliveries at Florida hospitals shows more than half met the goal of under 5 percent or at least made progress in that direction. The study had a small sample; however, it is worth noting that past studies of technological intervention in childbirth -- specifically elective Caesarean sections -- have found that South Florida rates are much higher than those in the state or nation as a whole.
A Health News Florida statistical analysis published in 2010 showed a distinctively higher rate among hospitals serving the Hispanic communities of South Florida, particularly Miami-Dade.