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CRH partnering with March of Dimes

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The Columbus Regional Health Birthing Center is partnering with the March of Dimes to lower the number of babies born unnecessarily early.

CRH is among 100 hospitals nationwide working with the March of Dimes in implementing the 39 weeks + Quality Improvement Service Package. The national initiative involves an education and awareness campaign, hospital quality improvement and community intervention programs.

These strategies are focused on creating and implementing policies and procedures to reduce medically unnecessary (elective) inductions and cesarean deliveries scheduled before 39 weeks of pregnancy.

“Every week of pregnancy is critical to a baby’s health,” says Scott Berns, MD, MPH, Senior Vice President and Deputy Medical Director for the March of Dimes. “I commend CRH for being a champion for babies and through this partnership will help more babies go full-term if the pregnancy is healthy. Working together on this very important quality initiative, we believe CRH will help us make significant strides in eliminating early elective deliveries.”

Research by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has shown that elective inductions performed prior to 39 weeks have risen sharply in the U.S. over the past 20 years. The reported rate of labor induction in the United States has more than doubled since 1990, from 9.5 percent to 22.5 percent in 2006.

Margie Campbell, Women and Children’s Clinical Nurse Specialist at CRH, said her goal for the collaboration with the March of Dimes is to take the number of elective early deliveries to zero.

“We need to educate the public about the dangers of early elective delivery. The final weeks of pregnancy are vital to proper brain and organ development,” Campbell said. “We’re proud to partner with the March of Dimes to give the babies we deliver the best possible start to a healthy life.”

The quality improvement service package is part the March of Dimes “Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait®” campaign. Worldwide, 15 million babies are born too soon each year and more than one million of those infants die as a result of their early births. 

Babies who survive an early birth often face the risk of lifelong health challenges, such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities and others. Even babies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants.

Recent research by the March of Dimes, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that although the overall threat is small, the risk of death more than doubles for infants born at 37 weeks of pregnancy, when compared to babies born at 40 weeks, for all races and ethnicities.

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