Infant Mortality: What is Keeping Us “Stuck”
By Phyllis J. Sloyer, RN, PhD, PAHM, FAAP
I began my career wanting to be a neonatal intensive care center nurse. The intrigue soon wore off as I realized what we as a society may not be doing to prevent low birth weight and other contributing factors to infant mortality. Our infant mortality rate is worse than the rates in countries my grandparents migrated from to come to this land of success and opportunity. In this issue you will read once again of the alarming statistics and the contributing factors to infant mortality in the United States. Whether it is pre-term births, poor perinatal care, or ethnic and racial disparities, we just seem to be stuck in moving the needle forward.
A significant reduction in infant mortality is going to take more than promising practices. It is going to require strong partnerships, commitments to develop and implement policies that improve access to timely care and focus on prevention strategies that work, and the resources to address the multiple issues that affect infant mortality. I look forward to the day that our infant mortality rate is less than the countries my grandparents came from.