Cincinnati and Hamilton counties have infant mortality rates nearly double the national average. The shocking numbers were recently disclosed by the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, sparking both concern and embarrassment among health officials in southern Ohio and northern Kentucky.
Local nonprofits that support pregnant women – such as the Women and Infant Vitality Network (WIVN) – have cited a number of reasons for the troubling infant death rates and encourage pregnant mothers to involve doctors early in their pregnancy. The difference between infant mortality rates between Caucasian and African American women is particularly alarming.
African American infants in Hamilton County are facing a mortality rate of 17.1 per 1,000 live births, almost three times more than Caucasian babies. Cynthia Smith, director of WIVN, cited a variety of factors for the disparity, most involving socioeconomic disadvantages typically suffered by African American women. Still, the problem cannot be attributed to environmental stresses and fewer resources, alone.
Numerous medical studies have confirmed that African American patients receive a lower standard of health care than other ethnic groups. This is especially tragic when the medical care involves the safe delivery and post-natal care of African American infants.
Regardless of ethnic background, a woman whose infant has suffered a birth injury or wrongful death because of medical malpractice has legal rights. To explore the unique circumstances of your case, contact an experienced Ohio birth injury attorney.
Source: fox19.com, “Area infant mortality rate has local health officials concerned,” Gordon Graham, April 10, 2012