The well-being and survival of infants are paramount concerns for parents. Infant morbidity and mortality, though often tragic and distressing, provide crucial insights into maternal and infant health. Infant morbidity refers to the presence of illness, disease or health conditions in babies. In contrast, infant mortality is the unfortunate event of a baby’s death during the first year of life.
Understanding the various examples and underlying causes of these unfortunate outcomes is essential in guiding efforts to improve infant well-being.
Examples of infant morbidity and mortality
Infants born before 37 weeks of gestation may face a higher risk of various health problems such as respiratory distress syndrome, infections and developmental delays. Additionally, babies with a birth weight below the normal range are more susceptible to infections, breathing difficulties and developmental issues.
Parents should also be aware of congenital disabilities like heart malformations, neural tube defects and genetic disorders because they can significantly impact an infant’s health and quality of life.
Another infant disorder that requires intensive medical intervention is respiratory distress syndrome. It is often seen in preterm infants due to underdeveloped lungs and can cause breathing difficulties.
Causes of infant morbidity and mortality
Several factors contribute to the occurrence of infant morbidity and mortality. These causes often interact and compound, making prevention and intervention complex. To begin with, the mother’s health during pregnancy directly affects the baby. Inadequate prenatal care, maternal infections, medical malpractice and chronic conditions like diabetes or hypertension can increase the risk of infant health problems.
Birth injuries like Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) can cause infant death. HIE is a condition where an infant’s blood and oxygen supply to the brain is significantly reduced during birth. As a result, the infant’s brain cells are prone to die quickly.
Understanding the examples and causes of infant morbidity and mortality is crucial for parents expecting a newborn. This information can help parents pursue compensation in instances where infant morbidity or mortality result from medical malpractice.