Alaina Gonville kisses her 3-month-old Brandon at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Hutzel Women's Hospital in Detroit. Brandon was born premature through an emergency C-section. (Max Ortiz / The Detroit News)
October 21, 2014 at 12:01 am


Surviving through age 18 in Detroit

The consequences of premature births and violence are killing Detroit kids at a higher rate than any U.S. city its size or larger. This two-day report on child deaths in Detroit by Detroit News reporter Karen Bouffard was produced as a project for the National Health Journalism Fellowship, a program of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Journalism.

The methodological framework was discussed and results shared with many experts, including: Dr. Herman Gray, vice president of pediatric health services for the Detroit Medical Center and former president of DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan; and Dr. Matt Davis, chief medical officer for the state of Michigan and professor of pediatrics and internal medicine at the University of Michigan.

  1. Detroit area nurses deliver help to new mothers

    A 20-year study published in JAMA Pediatrics in July found that the Nurse-Family Partnership, which provides low-income first-time moms with regular home visits from nurses with bachelor's degrees, reduces preventable deaths for mothers and their infants.

  1. Duggan to tackle infant mortality in wake of News' study

    In March, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan will roll out a massive campaign to attack infant mortality in the city, he told The Detroit News Friday.

Read Karen Bouffard's original series

  1. Infant mortality rate in Detroit rivals areas of Third World

    Prematurity, whose deadly side effects include brain hemorrhages, collapsed lungs and failing organs, is the leading killer of Detroit's babies.

  2. Detroit is deadliest city for children due to prematurity, violence

    Children are dying in Detroit at a greater rate than in any U.S. city its size or larger, a Detroit News study shows. Mostly, they die of conditions resulting from prematurity — the top killer of Detroit kids — and violence, which ranks second.

  3. Detroit researchers look at causes of premature births

    Groundbreaking discoveries by researchers at the Detroit Medical Center are helping explain why so many Detroit babies are born too early, and could position the city to lead global efforts to prevent prematurity and save babies' lives.

  4. Mobile units take care right to kids

    When Dr. Elliott Attisha started a mobile health clinic at Detroit Public Schools three years ago, it didn't take long to figure out prescriptions weren't getting filled.

  5. Big city health risks for kids

    Where Detroit ranks in comparison to other major U.S. cities.

  1. Detroit children dying in culture of violence

    Nearly 500 Detroit children have died in homicides since 2000 — an average of nearly three dozen a year. Most were gun-related, and most were among children 14-18. Many youngsters just got in the way of a bullet intended for an adult, or for no one in particular.

  2. Parents' illiteracy a challenge

    Some Detroit parents struggle to understand doctors' instructions, read prescription labels or measure the correct dosage of medication for their children, because an estimated 47 percent of adults are functionally illiterate.

  3. Program helps kids by helping moms be better parents

    Darnella Miller takes three buses and a taxi to get from her house on Detroit's west side to parenting classes on the east side. She goes every Wednesday, traveling hours each way, because she wants to get her children back.

  4. Stressful childhood tied to future health risks

    Jala Jackson is always looking over her shoulder — even more since her father, Marcel Jackson, was fatally shot while on duty as a security officer on June 20, 2012.

  5. Advice from experts on reducing child deaths

    The consequences of premature births and violence are killing Detroit kids at a higher rate than any U.S. city its size or larger. Five experts offer their opinions.

See all Video

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  • Research leads to screening for premature birth risk

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    Dr. Roberto Romero of Detroit's Hutzel Women's Hospital discusses new practices to help avoid premature births, a key factor in Detroit's high infant mortality rate. ()
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