One area in which modern medicine has had a dramatic impact is that of infant mortality. These mortality rates used to be very high, which is one reason that people would have such large families. Many people would not make it into adulthood, whereas the rates now are relatively low.
For example, the infant mortality rate in 2022, at least for those living in the United States, was about 5.4. This means that there were an average of 5.4 deaths for every 1,000 live births.
This may sound like a low rate, especially compared to historical data. Infant mortality rates in the early 1900s, for example, were 157.1. And while the current rate is low, the population is now so large that this still means that 20,000 infants pass away annually. It’s clear that this is a major concern.
What are the top causes?
There can be many different causes for high infant mortality rates, some of which are related to the parents and others which are related to the medical care that they receive while the child is born. But here are the top five reasons reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Birth defects
- Being born with a low birth weight or being born too early
- SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
- Injuries, such as suffocation
- Pregnancy complications involving the mother
In some cases, it’s clear that medical professionals played a role. For example, a doctor may fail to identify that a baby is in danger of suffocating or could make mistakes while trying to assist with the delivery. When parents have lost a child in this way, it’s quite important for them to understand all of the legal options at their disposal.