Project Impact featured in Times-Union op-ed

The Florida Times-Union published an op-ed piece addressing Northeast Florida’s regressing infant mortality rate and the strategies Project Impact recommends to combat infant mortality.

Project Impact is the Fetal and Infant Mortality Review project for Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. John’s counties. The project, carried out by the Coalition, reviews the cause of infant deaths and defines risk factors to help find a solution to prevent future deaths.

In Northeast Florida, the  infant mortality rate increased from 6.5 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2011 to 7.2 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2012.

Project Impact’s 2012-2013 Community Report listed prematurity as the primary cause of neonatal mortality–  contributing to more than 40 percent of cases in Northeast Florida. A baby is considered full term between 39 and 41 weeks. Babies born too soon are more likely to die before their first birthday and have a higher risk for serious health problems and long-term disabilities such as vision/hearing loss, autism and cerebral palsy. November is recognized as Prematurity Awareness Month, to bring attention to the one of the leading causes of infant mortality.

There are many factors that put a woman at risk for giving birth prematurely, such as stress, substance abuse and smoking. Project Impact is focused on these and other factors to prevent infant deaths. The project is also taking steps to improve safe sex and safe sleep education.

Read the Times-Union op-ed article here.