Maternal Health Care Is Disappearing in Rural America

July 14, 2017 at 10:26 am Leave a comment

An article was released to discuss the growing concern for the lack of maternal care in rural parts of America:

“Maternal mortality is also significantly higher in rural areas. Scientific American analyzed public mortality data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and found that in 2015 the maternal mortality rate in large central metropolitan areas was 18.2 per 100,000 live births—but in the most rural areas it was 29.4. Exactly why this happens is unclear. Underlying health conditions such as hypertension or diabetes could be factors, alongside poor prenatal care and geographic access. But the numbers are troubling, and the same trend holds true for infant mortality rates, according to the analysis of CDC figures.”

“New analysis from the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center puts the situation in dire terms: “More than two thirds of rural counties in Florida, Nevada and South Dakota have no in-county obstetrical services,” says one of the study’s authors, Carrie Henning-Smith, a research associate at the center. The analysis, which has not yet been published, finds that this was true from 2004 through 2014 (the latest year analyzed). That means these counties had absolutely no hospitals providing obstetrical care—forcing women to travel to other counties.”

“Unfortunately, family physicians are not moving in to fill these care gaps in high enough numbers. And the number of family physicians offering obstetrical services has dropped by half in recent years, although many still offer basic prenatal care: In the year 2000, 23 percent of family physicians offered obstetrics—but when they were surveyed in 2010 it was only about 10 percent.”

Read the rest of this interesting article here to learn more about the decrease in maternal health care in rural parts of america

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