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PNS Daily Newscast - August 12, 2020 

Former VP Joe Biden picks Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate; some schools have science-based metrics for open classroom instruction.

2020Talks - August 12, 2020 

California Sen. Kamala Harris will be on the ticket with Joe Biden in November. Four states had primaries yesterday, and two had runoffs. Georgia and Wisconsin appear to have improved since last time.

Ohio Program Aims to Keep Newborns Healthy and Cut Costs

June 30, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Inducing labor early might make the end of pregnancy a bit more bearable, but experts say if it's not medically necessary it can jeopardize the health of the baby and the mother. That's why the Ohio Perinatal Quality Collaborative is working to reduce the inappropriate scheduling of births before 39 weeks of gestation.

A co-founder of the collaborative, Dr. Edward Donovan, says while they are not technically considered premature, babies born at 37 or 38 weeks are still immature.

"Their lungs, for example, have not matured fully; their brains are not mature yet. Their ability to feed and nurse is not as good. They get more jaundice. They just have problems that are related to their body's systems not having fully matured yet."

Since its inception at 20 hospitals in September 2008, the program has reduced unnecessary planned late pre-term or near-term deliveries from about 15 percent to between 2 percent and 3 percent. It was cited in two studies recently published in respected medical journals.

Dr. Donovan, who is a professor of clinical pediatrics in the Child Policy Research Center at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, estimates that the program has prevented about 250 neonatal intensive-care-unit admissions and saved nearly $12 million in costs. He adds that the collaborative would like to share its approach with the other 116 maternity hospitals in Ohio.

"We think if we apply the same principles in the other Ohio hospitals, there's another 250 babies who don't need to be in ICU and probably another $10 million to $12 million in savings."

Prematurity is the leading cause of death in babies before they reach one year of age.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH