The Newsroom    Published Wednesday, Jul. 12, 2006, 10:24 AM
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New Practices Reduce Childbirth Risks

Wall Street Journal (Internet / Print) 07/12/06 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB115266494103204113.html?mod=googlenews_wsj Hospitals are conceiving new programs to make childbirth safer, amid mounting evidence that overuse of labor-inducing drugs for preterm deliveries and other common practices in the delivery room are endangering both mothers and infants. Driven by soaring liability-insurance premiums for their obstetrics units, hospital groups are adopting policies to discourage or prohibit births induced before the minimum 39 weeks recommended by maternal and child health experts, unless medically necessary. Gary Hankins, professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and chairman of the practice committee of ACOG, says doctors can cite hospital policies in declining to do preterm elective deliveries, which are sometimes requested by mothers tired of being pregnant. Elective inductions are "a real life dilemma" for doctors, he says.



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