Statewide Program Significantly Reduces Inappropriate Scheduling of Births before 39 Weeks
Cincinnati Children’s News Release
A statewide Ohio program significantly reduced the monthly rate of inappropriately scheduled births before 39 weeks gestation, helping to avoid expensive neonatal intensive care unit admissions and decrease the risk of infant deaths, according to two studies by the Ohio Perinatal Quality Collaborative recently published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
The studies found the Ohio Perinatal Quality Collaborative (OPQC) Scheduled Birth Initiative reduced unnecessary planned late pre-term and near-term deliveries in Ohio—those occurring one to three weeks before due date—from about 15 percent to between 2 and 3 percent. Prematurity is the leading cause of death in babies before they reach one year of age. Among preterm infants, the risk of death increases the earlier they are born. A normal pregnancy is about 40 weeks.