Ohio ranks 48th in infant mortality

Health officials in Ohio are meeting this week in Columbus to kickstart a 3 year initiative aimed at addressing infant mortality in Ohio. A new study shows that the infant mortality rate in Ohio increased by 3 percent from 2000-2010. The state's infant mortality rate of 7.7 per 1,000 births ranks 48th in the country. Dr. Barb Gunning is with the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department. "We have known for the last number of years that we have a terrible problem as far as infant mortality and it is something that we have been monitoring closely," Dr. Gunning said.

Dr. Shiraz Sunderji is a Maternal Fetal Specialist at Toledo Hospital. He adds that buracreaucy is another factor in Ohio's infant mortality problem. "When she becomes pregnant there are multiple impediments, mostly administrative so that by the time she receives her health insurance the pregnancy is half over," Dr. Sunderji said.

The March of Dimes estimates the medical costs for pre-term'low birth weight babies in the first year of life at $49,000 compared to $4,551 for those born healthy and full term.