"The strategies introduced by the state today will go a long way in dramatically reducing the state's infant mortality rate, which remains too high," Parisi said. "The key recommendations were developed through medical research conducted at the Perinatology Research Branch at Wayne State University, which demonstrates the branch's significant importance to the people of Michigan and the Detroit region."
The MDCH, headed by Director Olga Dazzo, said the strategies were selected because they reflect evidence-based practices that will reduce and prevent infant deaths.
While the 2010 state infant mortality rate set a new record low at 7.1 deaths per 1,000 live births, Michigan's rate remains higher than the national average of 6.1 deaths per 1,000 live births, according to the MDCH.
Premature birth is the leading cause of infant mortality in Michigan. The rate of premature birth increased more than 10 percent between 1998 and 2008. One of every eight babies born in Michigan 295 in an average week is born prematurely. And Michigan's rate of preterm birth (12.7 percent) exceeds the national average of 12.3 percent.
The new practices call for the state to partner with Wayne State University and the Detroit Medical Center to share progesterone therapy practices and develop protocol and implementation statewide. The state also will coordinate with the Medical Services Administration to assure benefit coverage for universal ultrasound screening of pregnant women and progesterone administration for Medicaid covered pregnancies.
"The implementation of universal cervical ultrasound screening for all pregnant women to identify women at risk for premature birth, and the use of vaginal progesterone, will be critical in the plan to reduce the rate of preterm birth and infant mortality,"
|Contact: Julie O'Connor|
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research