Tag Archives: deaths

2010 Vital Statistics…Interesting (Article)

Recently I came across an article with some interesting statistics summarizing vital statistics in the US for 2010-2012.  Much of the news is very encouraging. The average life expectancy of an infant born in the US in 2010 was 78.7 years.  Said another way, this means that 50% of all children born in 2010 will live beyond 78.7 years.  I find that amazing. Remember, that life expectancy includes all the children who die from terrible genetic problems, congenital malformations such as complex heart problems, and prematurity shortly after birth.  Compared to our ancestors, we are incredibly sturdy creatures.


The 2010 data also revealed that the teen birth rate was at an historic low.  I think this is great news. I love the teens I care for but I must say, most are not equipped to be parents. Success in our culture requires sophisticated skills that most teens do not possess. Since average life expectancy is now 78.7 years, what’s the hurry to have children?  Interestingly, many mothers understand this, delaying childbirth to into their 30’s and even 40’s according to the 2010 data.



The  2010 data, once again, reveals that the great challenges to improving children’s health are the same as they have been for the past 50 years:  reducing or eliminating the number of children who are injured or killed by unintentional accidents or homicides.   Children are hospitalized far more often for accidental injury than any other cause.  It’s our responsibility as adults to keep them safe from burns, choking, automobile accidents, drownings. and the rest.  Lets roll up our sleeves and get to work. This time, numbers don’t lie.

Smo Notes:



Written by Catherine Wu and Paul Smolen MD.





From the desk of Doc Smo: H1N1 legacy in children (Article)


We live in the era of big data.  Computers have allowed the collection and analysis of huge amounts of data that until recently, was unimaginable.  The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta constantly collects data on every disease imaginable.  In an article in the September 2012 edition of the journal Pediatrics, the researchers at the CDC focused on deaths in children from influenza A during the 2009 pandemic.


In the United States, there were 336 pediatric deaths directly linked to the H1N1 germ.  68% of the deaths occurred in children with some kind of underlying medical condition.  In other words, the majority of children killed by the H1N1 germ had something wrong with them before they contracted the flu.  An astounding 64% had some type of neurologic condition such as cerebral palsy or an intellectual disability.  I would have suspected that having asthma would have been the big risk factor not cerebral palsy or developmental disabilities.  In our practice, all the children who were admitted to the hospital with severe H1N1 disease during the 2009 pandemic had underlying lung disease not neurologic  problems.


So here is the take home message for everyone.  Every child should get a flu shot, especially children with cerebral palsy and those with intellectual impairments: hopefully before December.  Vaccine supply seems to be plentiful this year so take the time to get your child vaccinated.  Without “us” to spread the flu germ around, flu just won’t be able to take hold. Last year, 2011, was the mildest flu season that I can remember in my 30 years of practice.  I don’t think that was due to good fortune but rather was a direct effect of so many parents making it a priority to vaccinate their children.  Flu epidemics don’t have to happen every winter as long as we stay one step ahead by vaccinating.


Your comments are welcome on www.docsmo.com.  Thanks for joining us today.  Until next time.


Smo Notes:

Pediatrics Volume 130, Number 3, September 2012