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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: September 11, 2017 12:40 PM
From: Representative Maria P. Donatucci
To: All House members
Subject: World Prematurity Day
In the near future, I plan to introduce a resolution declaring November 17, 2017 as “World Prematurity Day” in Pennsylvania.

The March of Dimes, among other organizations worldwide, has declared November 17, 2017 as World Prematurity Day to highlight for the nation the serious public health concern of prematurity in birth, which is the leading cause of newborn death. Indeed, each year about one in ten babies are born premature worldwide, and the United States was ranked 131st in the world in terms of its preterm birth rate in a recent report. The preterm birth rate of the Commonwealth has been improving, but there is still a lot to do to reduce this rate.

Although babies may survive preterm birth, some may need special medical care requiring weeks or months of hospitalization, and oftentimes these babies face adverse health conditions over the course of their lives, such as chronic respiratory problems, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, vision and hearing loss, and feeding and digestive problems.

Along with the emotional pain involved for the childbearing woman and her family, the annual costs of this additional medical care in the United States are estimated at more than $26 billion. Although doctors have made exceptional progress in the care of premature babies, more research is needed to increase the medical community’s understanding of the risk factors for premature birth.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this resolution to help bring attention to prematurity in birth and its attendant health consequences and costs.

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Introduced as HR554