Wednesday, May 23, 2012

One Premature Baby Cost $2 Million

A report that was released a couple of weeks ago found that worldwide 15 million babies are born prematurely each year.  One million of those babies die.  

It would be convenient to think that this is not a problem for the United States.  However, we ranked 131 (along with Turkey and Thailand) in a report that represents nearly 50 organizations and was published by the March of Dimes, the World Health Organization, the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Save the Children. 

Of every 100 babies born in the U.S., 12 arrive preterm, accounting for about half a million births each year. And that’s even after preterm birth rates in the U.S. have declined for four consecutive years.

The U.S. Institute of Medicine has calculated the annual costs associated with preterm birth at more than $26 billion. Ethan and Aidan Sinconis racked up $2.2 million in medical bills in the first 18 months after they were born. Insurance covered most of the costs, but their parents’ portion approached $450,000. “It destroyed us,” says Sinconis, 35, who has written about her family’s experience in A Pound of Hope (see link at right).
She and her husband, Justin, were forced to file for bankruptcy and sold their possessions on Craigslist to generate cash. Meanwhile, the boys struggled through heart surgery and eye surgery, sepsis, rickets and brain hemorrhages. When they left the hospital after six months, they were ordered to avoid contact with the outside world. Attached to oxygen, heart monitors and feeding tubes, they remained at home in isolation for three years.
Now 5½ years old, they’re smaller than other kids their age and struggle socially because they had no playmates for their first three years. They have speech delays, but amazingly, they’re both reading and writing on a second-grade level and will start kindergarten this fall.

To read the full report click HERE

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