A special guest post from Alison Conway, Manager of the FMH Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU):
Did you know that…
President Franklin Roosevelt’s personal struggle with polio led him to create the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis at a time when polio was on the rise. Better known as The March of Dimes, the foundation established a polio patient aid program and funded research for vaccines developed by Jonas Salk, MD and Albert Sabin, MD. These vaccines effectively ended epidemic polio in the United States.
With its mission accomplished, the foundation turned its focus to preventing birth defects and infant mortality. The March of Dimes has led the way to discover the genetic causes of birth defects, to promote newborn screening, and to educate medical professionals and the public about best practices for healthy pregnancy. The March of Dimes supported research for surfactant therapy to treat respiratory distress (a major breakthrough in neonatal care) and helped initiate the system of regional neonatal intensive care for premature and sick babies. A recent Folic Acid Campaign has achieved a dramatic reduction in the incidence of neural tube defects, birth defects of the brain and spine.
The leading causes of infant mortality are preterm/low birthweight births, congenital anomalies, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Preterm/low birthweight births are associated with 2/3 of all infant deaths. Overall, the infant mortality rate for very low birthweight infants (those with birth weights of less than 1,500 grams or 3 ½ pounds) is 240/1,000, more than 100 times the mortality rate for normal birthweight infants.
At FMH, we see about 2,500 deliveries each year. About 15% of those babies born are admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for treatment. Have you been personally impacted by the birth of a sick newborn? Do you know of someone that has delivered a premature baby? If yes, we are here for you and want to do our part for that baby and family to provide the best outcomes possible. If you have not been impacted thus far, you may be someday and we want to give you and your baby the best chance for a happy and healthy life.
The March for Babies walk is one of the original walks for charity. Please join our FMH team and be a part of a long-standing tradition.
Frederick’s March of Dimes March for Babies is scheduled for Sunday, May 1st at 10 a.m. in Baker Park. Join us for a walk through the park to give all babies a healthy start to life!