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New Mexico Department of Health Reports Increase in Infant Mortality

The state rate increased from 5.2 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2011 to 6.9 in 2012.
SANTA FE -- The New Mexico Department of Health reported that New Mexicos infant death rate is above national levels for the first time since 1994. 

The state rate increased from 5.2 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2011 to 6.9 in 2012. The national rate is 6.0
infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2011.

"New Mexicos 2012 infant death rate numbers are very concerning. The New Mexico Department of Health will be monitoring the numbers closely to see if it was the beginning of a trend," said Department of Health Secretary Retta Ward, MPH. "The Department of Health will continue working on initiatives to improve birth outcomes."

The main increase in infant deaths was in White and Hispanic infants in the neonatal period (under 28 days of age) in several cause of death categories. Birth defects and disorders related to preterm births (before 37 weeks of gestation) and low birth weight are the two most common causes of infant deaths. Those categories accounted for nearly 26% and 19%, respectively, of infant deaths in 2012.

The New Mexico Department of Health has been actively participating in a regional Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) to reduce infant mortality since early 2012.

New Mexico CoIIN team is focusing on five strategies to reduce infant deaths:
  1. Promoting safe sleep
  2. Promoting smoking cessation.
  3. Improving interconception care. (Increasing the number of postpartum visits and providing family planning.)
  4. Eliminating early elective deliveries.
  5. Strengthening perinatal regionalization. (Ensuring that mothers give birth in facilities that can provide appropriate levels of care for them and their infants.)
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