Florida consumers: Early delivery is safe

Despite wide-spread recognition that a baby reaches full-term at 37+ weeks gestation, nearly half of Florida consumers responding to a statewide questionnaire indicated delivery before this threshold is safe. These and other results from a survey of consumer knowledge and perceptions, conducted as part of a three-year effort to raise awareness about the importance of the last weeks of pregnancy, were presented last week at the Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative Inaugural Conference in Tampa. Nearly half of the survey respondents who delivered a baby in the last 18 months indicated they had been offered the option to schedule an induction or C-section by their health care provider. Read the full presentation here.

The conference was sponsored by USF Health, the Florida March of Dimes and the Florida Hospital Association. The gathering brought together hospital representatives, physicians, payers, Healthy Start Coalition staff, researchers and national experts to discuss strategies for reducing late pre-term births and morbidities associated with non-medically indicated scheduled inductions and C-sections.

Featured speakers included Kathleen Rice Simpson, PhD, RN, FAAN and Eric Knox, MD; Stan Graven, MD; Mark Hudak, MD; Maureen Corry, MPH and Rebekah Gee, MD. A panel of hospital representatives participating in the Florida Perinatal Practice Collaborative working to reduce non-medically indicated deliveries before 39 weeks shared the successes and challenges of their efforts over the last year.

The results of the consumer survey, implemented by Healthy Start Coalitions in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Hillsborough, Sarasota, Lee and Santa Rosa counties, will be used to measure the impact of a statewide campaign by the Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions and March of Dimes. The Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition is staffing the initiative. More information on the campaign, as well as tips for consumers, can be found on http://www.39weeksFl.org.