TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Our Telephonic Primacy

Re: Our Telephonic Primacy

Fri, 25 Mar 2005 18:34:16 -0500

[As always, please block my email address=2E]

John Smith wrote:

>Dave Garland wrote (about infant mortality in Cuba):

>> It's true, but the US has far more heroic interventions among extremely
>> low birth weight and extremely premature infants than Cuba=2E Which, of
>> course, are far more likely to die than normal births. I suspect that
>> in Cuba, those get counted as miscarriages, not infants.

> Is this just a guess, or do you have reason to suspect that the
> medical definition of "birth" is different in Cuba? Or perhaps it'
> the definition of "death"?

Actually, yes, he does have reason. Many (perhaps most) other countries,
even developed ones, use a different standard than the US does in
distinguishing between live births and stillbirths. Infant mortality
figures apply only to live births which subsequently die, so stillbirths
don't count. See for
more info. For example, almost one-third of US infant deaths happened
to very premature babies (less than 1 kg) who wouldn't have even been
counted as live births in Switzerland.

> It seems to me, considering an equal number of premature births, that
> heroic intervention should produce a benefit in the statistics.

Only if they're counted as live births, not stillbirths.

Bob Goudreau
Cary, NC

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