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<v TV Announcer>Your Children, Our Children: Life and Death. <v TV Announcer>Length 28 48. Twin Cities Public TV Incorporated. <v TV Narrator>Your Children, Our Children is made possible by major grants from the Dayton <v TV Narrator>Hudson Foundation, Target stores, <v TV Narrator>Mervyn's, with additional funding provided by Carnegie <v TV Narrator>Corporation of New York, Lane Bryant Malsin Foundation, <v TV Narrator>and the Lilly Endowment. <v Doctor 1>You can do it. <v Doctor 2>Come on! <v Doctor 1>Come on, push to 10! 2, 3, 4, <v Doctor 1>5, 6. <v Doctor 1>Good. Don't stop, 8, 9, 10. <v Doctor 1>Deep breath in!
<v Doctor 2>Push again, come on! <v Doctor 1>Push 10, push 10 hard. <v Doctor 2>Push hard! Hard! <v Doctor 1>Don't stop now. Keep pushing. <v Doctor 2>Push hard! <v Doctor 1>Don't stop, Annie! Keep pushing. Don't stop. Come on, Annie. Keep on, Annie! <v Doctor 1>Keep going, Annie! <v Doctor 1>Push, push. <v Doctor 1>Push. Keep pushing. [Annie screams] <v Doctor 2>Okay, okay. <v Doctor 1>You've got another boy. <v John Merrow>A baby is born. This happens 3 and a half million times a year in the United <v John Merrow>States. <v John Merrow>We have the best medical facilities in the world. <v John Merrow>No question. But 45 thousand of these babies will die before their first birthday. <v John Merrow>Many die because our medical system is out of kilter. <v John Merrow>Inadequate prenatal care is the greatest single cause of birth problems. <v John Merrow>We know that. But 3 out of 10 pregnant women get little or none. <v John Merrow>Almost routinely, our medical system spends a hundred thousand dollars or more to save a <v John Merrow>baby with problems, but then allows that baby to drop out of sight. <v John Merrow>We're good in a crisis, but at least 15 other countries are better at keeping
<v John Merrow>babies alive and healthy. <v John Merrow>I'm John Merrow for Your Children, Our Children. <v John Merrow>[music plays] <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>I haven't heard back from Cliff yet, and I don't know what kind of situation he was in. <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>He says he's going to be back within a half an hour. <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>Then we can proceed with the first team, just turning around and getting this other baby. <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>OK. OK. Right. Buh bye. <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>OK. Notify everybody else and Earl will call you back and let you know whether the first <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>team or second team is gonna go. [ambulace sirens] <v John Merrow>1 October morning, a baby weighing less than 1 and a half pounds was rushed to the <v John Merrow>neonatal intensive care unit at Ochsner Hospital in New Orleans, 1 of the finest
<v John Merrow>medical facilities in the region. <v John Merrow>[background chatter] Babies with problems are brought here from Louisiana, Mississippi <v John Merrow>and Texas, an area with 1 of the nation's highest infant death rates. <v John Merrow>Baby Dana had been born the day before, nearly 4 months prematurely in a rural <v John Merrow>Louisiana hospital 40 miles away. <v John Merrow>It would take 114 days and almost 100 thousand dollars to save <v John Merrow>her life. <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>This is a little baby who is very similar to Dana ?Schmals? <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>and that uh Dana was a very premature baby, a little <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>less than 1 and a half pounds who was born across the lake and the <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>baby was transported here and had severe problems. <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>Daryl was uh a single, had no prenatal care and had a baby <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>about a year previously. And she wasn't prepared for this- this baby, <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>she certainly wasn't prepared for a premature baby. <v Daryl>I was scared now and- and besides, she <v Daryl>had um tubes all up in her head and stuff, and
<v Daryl>she just didn't look good. She was- she look like a little miniature long Barbie doll. <v Daryl>That's what she looked like. Litte long Barbie doll. <v John Merrow>Daryl lives in rural Louisiana, a world away from the complicated <v John Merrow>technology that saved her baby's life. <v John Merrow>Going from no care at all to the best there is overnight was bewildering. <v John Merrow>Daryl wouldn't have made it without the help of her neighbor, Loretta Everitt. <v Loretta>Daryl? <v Loretta>I think that was a problem for her all the time. <v Loretta>The shock. <v Loretta>You know, that's hard to think that she got a baby that little. <v Loretta>And, you know, I guess you have to think realistically she might die. <v Willie Haight>Loretta often would make arrangements to bring Daryl here. <v Willie Haight>Uh the 2 or 3 times he should get here. <v Willie Haight>It was Loretta who drove her, stayed with her while she was here visiting with the child <v Willie Haight>in intensive care, piece her back together, because Daryl was often
<v Willie Haight>during- during those visits was often overwhelmed by the technology, <v Willie Haight>by the sight of the child who really did not look very good. <v Willie Haight>I don't know if we could have gotten as far in the case as we did without her. <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>Certainly, the equipment, the bells, things going on are overwhelming. <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>And what you expect when you think about having a baby is a plump fat baby <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>in your arms cooing and having a bottle, and that's not what you see here. <v Daryl>It made me sick. Whenever you look at all that stuff, you know, I couldn't take seeing <v Daryl>her that way because she- she was just covered with tubes and stuff. <v Daryl>I couldn't understand all the medical terms. <v John Merrow>What do you do when you saw her? <v Daryl>I was- I had- I had to go back out. <v Daryl>I stayed in for a sec- couple minutes or so and then I went right back out. <v Loretta>It's about an hour and 15-minute drive from the hospital, we talked a little bit and she <v Loretta>said her first thought was that could she
<v Loretta>had done something, you know, while she was pregnant, that would have prevented that. <v Loretta>And I sa- you know, she said instantly, that's what she thought about. <v Loretta>Maybe she did or didn't do something. <v Loretta>You know, she didn't know she was pregnant. She didn't take vitamins. <v Loretta>She didn't watch what she eat. <v John Merrow>She had no prenatal care. <v Loretta>None. So she, you know, thought, yeah, well, if I <v Loretta>took vitamins or something like that or done something to take care of myself, maybe the <v Loretta>baby would have been born healthier. <v John Merrow>And she's right. Half of premature births are a direct result of inadequate <v John Merrow>prenatal care. No regular checkups. <v John Merrow>Poor nutrition and overuse of alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes. <v John Merrow>We've known that for years. <v John Merrow>[background chatter] But the medical profession has concentrated its energy on saving <v John Merrow>premature babies rather than on preventing premature births. <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>We consider about 24 weeks of pregnancy of gestation <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>as the cutoff. <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>Below that, the lungs are not developed enough where oxygen can come into the lungs
<v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>and be exchanged into the blood. The lungs just haven't developed. <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>And that's a conflict that we've talked about. <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>1 end of the hospital, they were aborting babies at 20 weeks and the other end we're <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>saving them at 24 using thousands of dollars to do it. <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>And I don't have an easy answer for that. <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>It's- it's something that has to do, I think, with the environment, the society <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>in which we live. My job is when a parent comes to me with a baby and <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>they want everything done for that baby. <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>I try to do that. <v John Merrow>What do the X-rays look like on these 2 new kids? <v John Merrow>[background chatter] <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>Boy, he's got bad hyaline membrane disease. <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>Where's the other 1, Anderson? <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>I think there was a real historical event 20 years ago, and that is that the Kennedy's <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>had a baby with membrane disease. And this really turned the public's <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>attention to prematurity. <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>There also was a feeling, a probably an erroneous feeling in the public
<v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>that prematures either died or they grew up to be stupid and they wouldn't <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>develop as well as other children. <v Speaker>[background chatter] <v Speaker> <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>What we have found is that the babies under 2 pounds is where we get into <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>some ethical eh moral considerations. <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>Should we resuscitate? How aggressive should we be? <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>And if we- if the baby does survive, what will be the quality of life for <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>that baby? The highest rate of problems in terms of mental retardation, <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>cerebral palsy, and other kinds of problems come with babies under 2 <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>pounds. <v Daryl>Give her her medicine this time. <v Daryl>OK. <v Loretta>Give her that ?inaudible? <v Daryl>Yeah. <v Loretta>That's the breathing medicine? <v Daryl>Yeah, the aqua one. <v Daryl>They can't tell yet whether or not they have any permanent brain damage. <v Daryl>[baby cries] [background chatter] She had a brain hemorrhage <v Daryl>which caused some clotting behind the eyes and they don't know how extensive
<v Daryl>it's been. You know, they're almost- they're not positive. <v Daryl>So I've got a lot of hope now. <v Daryl>With the right care and attention that you know, she's going to be perfectly <v Daryl>fine. <v Speaker>[background chatter]. <v Daryl>I was scared to death to bring her home. I just didn't think I could take care of her and <v Daryl>I'm you know, I didn't have any transportation or whatever in <v Daryl>case she got sick. I was thinking a lot about that. <v Daryl>And the fact that there is no one here around to take me, you <v Daryl>know, even when I don't have a car. <v Daryl>So everybody's workin' so I didn't know how I'd get <v Daryl>her to the doctors and stuff. That's what I was worried about really. <v Daryl>In case she got sick or me or something, I couldn't take her to the doctor. <v Daryl>I was scared to bring her home. <v Willie Haight>Awful lot of the caseload really disappears after the hospitalization, after <v Willie Haight>the intensive care stay. There's more than hundreds of thousands of dollars per case <v Willie Haight>for seeing to it that these children do survive.
<v Willie Haight>I think we have a responsibility as a society to see that they do more than just <v Willie Haight>survive. <v John Merrow>What if baby Dana doesn't get the kind of care she should have? <v Willie Haight>She may easily die. <v Willie Haight>She may not develop. She may be very, very retarded. <v Willie Haight>She may need continuous care all of her life. <v Willie Haight>She may need institutionalization at some point. <v Willie Haight>I hate to paint a very black picture because you can never tell what's going to happen <v Willie Haight>down the line, but that's a likely possibility. <v John Merrow>The system that saved Dana seems to have abandoned her. <v John Merrow>She has not gotten the care she has to have. <v Daryl>I'm gonna lay down with her. I think she's getting tired. <v John Merrow>She needed a brain scan, a pneumogram, and other tests when she was 6 months old. <v John Merrow>She's almost a year now and she still hasn't had them. <v Daryl>Give Mama sugar. [background chatter] <v John Merrow>Her mother can't afford the tests. <v John Merrow>The system won't pay until Dana is labeled handicapped. <v John Merrow>The longer they wait, the more certain it is that she will be. <v John Merrow>Ironically, if Dana's mother had happened to live in the next county, Dana might have
<v John Merrow>been born on time and healthy. <v John Merrow>A model program here has reduced the number of premature births and cut the infant <v John Merrow>death rate in half. Success doesn't depend on neonatal intensive <v John Merrow>care. The key is prevention. <v John Merrow>Getting pregnant women into health care early and educating them. <v John Merrow>That's the job of health worker Rachel Stewart. <v Rachel Stewart>I know the community, white, black, any color, from <v Rachel Stewart>the court house on back to the jail house. <v Rachel Stewart>And I know about raising kids. <v Rachel Stewart>I know about- I've been a housekeeper 40 some years. <v Rachel Stewart>And I can tell if that house ain't like it supposed to. <v Rachel Stewart>Been to the health clinic for your visit? <v Expecting Mother>Not yet. <v Rachel Stewart>When are you supposed to go back? [fades into background] <v Rachel Stewart>Purpose of the program is for the health [background chatter] and wellbeing of the kids. <v Rachel Stewart>[background chatter] And the purpose of the program is for the mothers that need and <v Rachel Stewart>want you to support them with their children. <v Rachel Stewart>Is it the first part or the last part of the week?
<v Expecting Mother>The last. <v Rachel Stewart>Well, I'll be by the first part [fade out]. <v John Merrow>Rachel, you're sort of like an extra mother. <v Rachel Stewart>That's what I'm supposed to be. That's what my job is supposed to be about. <v Rachel Stewart>What the program all about. <v Rachel Stewart>Okay, I'll get on back, ?tow? my car. <v Rachel Stewart>You see, times have changed, and they don't believe in the old ways, <v Rachel Stewart>but old way was most cheaper. <v Rachel Stewart>There was less money too, but it was much cheaper. But money ain't all of it all the time <v Rachel Stewart>when raising a family. If you got a healthy family, you've got money in your pocket. <v Rachel Stewart>But if you got sick family, I don't care how much money you got, your pocket is going out <v Rachel Stewart>for the doctor fee. Either way, you want to take it, it's 6 in one hand and half a dozen <v Rachel Stewart>in other hand. <v Rachel Stewart>My experience about raising the family was taught that charity begins at home. <v Rachel Stewart>If you knew how to raise a family, you know how to keep a house, well you do it routine. <v Rachel Stewart>But some of them really don't do it because the parents didn't teach it. <v Rachel Stewart>If I'm not interested in my kids, then my kids get their kid, <v Rachel Stewart>they're not interested in their kids, then they gonna be doing just like Mama did me.
<v Rachel Stewart>Now that's the way I see it. <v John Merrow>So without this program? <v Rachel Stewart>It would be sad. Because it's natural facts <v Rachel Stewart>that has happened. <v Rachel Stewart>You got you a baby girl now? See it ain't cryin', don't cha? <v Rachel Stewart>You got to watch for ?inaudible?, 'cause when that baby's wet, it's gonna cry. <v Rachel Stewart>That's the only way a baby can get your attention. <v Rachel Stewart>He can't tell you he's wet. <v Expecting Mother 2>You had much help with him? <v Mother>Mhm mhm. Nobody but me by myself. And I bring him down here, my grandmother help me. <v Expecting Mother 2>Hey Rachel, can I ask you something about a premature baby? What makes you have a <v Expecting Mother 2>premature baby? <v Rachel Stewart>What makes you have a premature baby? <v Expecting Mother 2>Uh huh. <v Rachel Stewart>Sometimes it's you neglecting your own self. <v Rachel Stewart>Sometimes your body's weak, because you didn't get the right vitamin and nourishment for <v Rachel Stewart>your body to feed that baby. You feed yours on cigarettes. <v Expecting Mother 2>[laughs] Oh, Rachel. <v Rachel Stewart>Yeah. I'm tellin' you the truth. <v Rachel Stewart>Keep yours on cigarettes, and yours might come here on the week. <v Expecting Mother 2>A pack of cigarettes lasts me 2 days and a half. <v Rachel Stewart>I don't care how many days it lasts, you still smokin'.
<v Rachel Stewart>You- you might be harmin' that baby by smokin' that cigarette. <v Rachel Stewart>?inaudible? born with birth defect. See the risk? <v Rachel Stewart>Drinkin'... <v Rachel Stewart>That's got a lot to do with it. <v Expecting Mother>Miss Rachel, I don't drink. <v Rachel Stewart>That's 6 in one hand and half a dozen in another. <v Rachel Stewart>Whatever you feed in your mouth is going in that baby's bloodstream. <v Rachel Stewart>It don't get nothin', but what you put in your mouth. <v Rachel Stewart>You feed the baby through you. <v Rachel Stewart>You puttin' that cigarette in your mouth, ain't you? <v Rachel Stewart>So you try to lay off the cigarettes. <v Rachel Stewart>It is gettin' late, it is gettin' cold, is gettin' my eatin' time, now 'cause I ain't- <v Rachel Stewart>this- this is my time of day <v Rachel Stewart>to eat. [mothers group laughs] 'Cause y'all have been eatin' and smokin' all day, and I haven't. [laughs] <v John Merrow>Rachel Stewart is paid 4000 dollars a year for helping ensure that 25 <v John Merrow>women have healthy babies. 4000 dollars. <v John Merrow>That's the cost of 4 days in the neonatal intensive care unit. <v John Merrow>The model program she's a part of provides continuous care throughout pregnancy and the <v John Merrow>child's first year. In this program, the different pieces of the medical system,
<v John Merrow>this public hospital, 8 public health units, and 2 medical schools are required <v John Merrow>to work together, something they've never done before. <v John Merrow>Just a few years ago, any woman who couldn't afford private care had to come to Lallie <v John Merrow>Kemp Charity Hospital for all her prenatal care, for some a 120-mile <v John Merrow>round trip. [background chatter in waiting room] Then this waiting room was 3 times as <v John Merrow>crowded and a woman might wait 8 hours to see a doctor. <v John Merrow>All these women will be seen by noon. <v Nurse Practitioner>I'm going to have to do a pelvic exam and I'll do a pap smear and I'll also do a culture <v Nurse Practitioner>to be sure that you don't have an infection that may hurt the baby when you deliver. Okay? <v Patient>Okay. <v John Merrow>Many of them will be seen by a nurse practitioner. <v Nurse Practitioner>I just want you to relax as much as you can. <v John Merrow>That's a big change. In most places, everyone waits to see the doctor, even for <v John Merrow>routine procedures. <v John Merrow>The medical profession resists the use of nurse practitioners. <v John Merrow>The program director, Dr. Hyrum Batson, fought for the change.
<v John Merrow>As a result, the program is more efficient. <v Nurse Practitioner>4 weeks ago and she's 39 weeks, it's the estimated gestational age. <v Nurse Practitioner>Now, this is her first visit. <v Nurse Practitioner>Her final height [fade out] <v John Merrow>There are other obstacles, though, to seeing every woman as early as possible in her <v John Merrow>pregnancy. <v Doctor 3>This is your first visit to the doctor? <v Patient 2>Yes, it is. <v Doctor 3>Why? <v Patient 2>Well, I didn't know about the place and we didn't have any insurance and didn't know who <v Patient 2>to go to. <v Doctor 3>You have not seen a doctor at all? <v Patient 2>Not at all. <v Doctor 3>50 years ago, prenatal care consisted of an infrequent visit <v Doctor 3>of takin' the blood pressure, a urinalysis, and the weight. <v Doctor 3>The death rate from childbirth was stupendous. <v Doctor 3>Little has changed. <v Doctor 3>The only thing that's lowered the mortality rate is antibiotics and blood transfusions. <v Doctor 3>And it's a matter of custom. <v Doctor 3>It's a matter of faulty beliefs, through lack of proper <v Doctor 3>education or through traditional means. <v Doctor 3>They don't go to a doctor until they need one.
<v John Merrow>When should a pregnant woman go to the doctor? <v Doctor 3>As soon as she feels like she's pregnant, or more ideally, before she gets <v Doctor 3>pregnant for a good checkup and be sure she has no contraindications to being pregnant. <v Doctor 3>Maybe something, maybe a little better nutrition could be ensued before <v Doctor 3>she gets pregnant. <v Doctor 3>1 week we'll have a report of all your lab percentages. <v Doctor 3>Just keep doing you've been doing. <v Doctor 3>You're taking your vitamins? <v Doctor 3>The problem is an individual who's not quite so poor yet poor enough not <v Doctor 3>to be able to go to private means. <v Receptionist>Jennifer Ducrey? <v Doctor 3>You're not impressed with patients' ignorance as sometimes stating <v Doctor 3>as being a real barrier to access. <v Doctor 3>They say, well, she didn't come to clinic. Well, she doesn't have the mental capabilities <v Doctor 3>or she's just plain ignorant. That's why she didn't go to a doctor. <v Doctor 3>That isn't the usual case. <v Doctor 3>Usual case is lack transportation, lack of somebody to keep the kids.
<v Doctor 3>And the blood pressure is recorded here, <v Doctor 3>I think that she should be following any high-risk type clinic here <v Doctor 3>and a Lallie Kemp, rather than being triaged to the <v Doctor 3>low-risk clinic which [fade out]. <v John Merrow>Most pregnancies are low risk. <v John Merrow>For routine prenatal checkups, Lallie Kemp Hospital sends women to 1 of 8 <v John Merrow>public health units in the region. <v John Merrow>These are in local neighborhoods, easier to get to and less crowded. <v John Merrow>Cooperation is the heart of the model program. <v John Merrow>Traditionally, hospitals and doctors disregard public health and preventive medicine. <v Joy Castell>How does it feel to be pregnant today? <v Patient 3>Just fine. <v Joy Castell>Just fine. <v John Merrow>Joy Castell, a nurse at one of the public health units, has been part of the change. <v Joy Castell>Chair up on my table. <v Joy Castell>Up until just recently, people didn't realize that anybody <v Joy Castell>can come to a parish health unit.
<v Joy Castell>It should be no reflection on their ability or inability to pay. <v Joy Castell>The normal pregnancy, I can see in this health unit. <v Joy Castell>They get more 1 to 1 care. <v Joy Castell>Normal looking belly. <v Joy Castell>It also helps Lallie Kemp, because they- because I am taking care <v Joy Castell>of patients that would- really don't need intensive <v Joy Castell>nursing and doctoring, then they have more time to give to the patients that do <v Joy Castell>require extensive or- or more concentrated efforts. <v Joy Castell>As you grow, once you get past the umbilicus, which is the bellybutton, <v Joy Castell>you want to grow 1 sonometer for every week that you are. <v Joy Castell>You are exactly where you ought to be. <v Joy Castell>So listen. <v Joy Castell>Baby's been turning a lot? <v Patient 3>Yeah. <v Joy Castell>Real active? 'Kay. <v Patient 3>Sometimes I wish it would give me a break. <v Joy Castell>When I was pregnant with 1 of mine, I could've swore, I'd wake up in the middle of night, <v Joy Castell>I could swear, he was layin' there goin'.
<v Joy Castell>[patient laughs] You will feel a lot of things in your pregnancy down here. <v Joy Castell>Like um, you can tell when a baby has hiccups, sometimes a baby will have hiccups in <v Joy Castell>utero, and it feels like this. <v Joy Castell>That's the beauty, really, of having a nurse do a maternity visit a lot <v Joy Castell>of times, because you'll find that the uh the patient will open up and say <v Joy Castell>something to a woman, especially a woman who has been pregnant before, that she will not <v Joy Castell>say to a physician. <v Joy Castell>Sometimes, for instance, one of the things that I hear most often. <v Joy Castell>A patient will say at night, I wake up and I <v Joy Castell>have this terrific pain in my side. <v Joy Castell>Well, I have felt that pain. <v Joy Castell>I know what she's talking about. So I can tell her, well, just draw <v Joy Castell>your knee up into your abdomen and gently turn over. <v Joy Castell>Can you hear it?
<v Patient 3>I can hear it now. <v Joy Castell>Yeah, he's moving, he's flip flopping. <v Joy Castell>It was this appointment and then 1 other and you'll be sent back Lallie Kemp. <v Joy Castell>We need some specific blood tests and things that need to be done on you today. <v Joy Castell>There's nobody that could bring you? Because we really do need to check [fade out]. <v John Merrow>The first 2 years of this program, there was money for a bus to get women to the clinics. <v John Merrow>Those funds have been cut. <v John Merrow>Without the simple things, someone to watch the kids and a way of getting to the clinic, <v John Merrow>even the best health care goes unused. <v Nurse Practitioner 2>Hold it real tight. <v John Merrow>Once there, women get the care they need. <v Joy Castell>Hopefully, because the mother has been kept in good health, <v Joy Castell>we get a healthy baby. <v Joy Castell>'Kay your blood pressure's very good. <v Joy Castell>And even if there is perchance, something wrong with that baby at birth, the baby <v Joy Castell>has a better chance of making it because of the mother's condition at birth.
<v Joy Castell>You're following the curve pretty good. We'd kinda like to see you come up, you know, and <v Joy Castell>follow this curve as close as possible, which you're doing. <v Joy Castell>You were a little underweight [fade out]. <v John Merrow>The model program here in rural Louisiana is a success. <v John Merrow>Because of Joy Castell, Hyrum Batson, Rachel Stewart, and others, the infant death <v John Merrow>rate has been cut in half. <v John Merrow>But we've already proved this can be done in other model programs in the 1920s, <v John Merrow>the '40s, and the '60s. <v John Merrow>Those model programs were funded, made their point, and then disappeared. <v John Merrow>The same thing may happen here. <v John Merrow>If it does, then, as usual, black and poor children will suffer the most. <v John Merrow>More children will be born with serious problems and more babies will die. <v Nurse>Just have all your meds ready, because y'all gonna have to crash as soon as you get into <v Nurse>the office. So just be ready for anything and everything. <v Interviewee>The best care in this country is better than any care in the world, no doubt about it. <v Interviewee>But the care is very uneven and certain segments of the population get very little, if
<v Interviewee>any care. And that's why our country does not rate the number 1 <v Interviewee>in infant mortality, but 15th or 16th or 18th. <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>They'll be arriving around 5:30, we need elevators ready and they're doing CPR en route. <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>They feel that they cannot stabilize the baby any further. <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>[ambulance parks] He's got a venous line in- an umbilical venous line and he's intubated <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>and they'll be doing cardiac massage on the way home. <v Nurse>Give us a call Cliff when you get there. <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>So it's not going to be a good situation. I will try to have Dr. ?inaudible? <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>here to help us get down to [fade out] <v Interviewee>75 percent of infant mortality is caused by prematurity <v Interviewee>and we've shown that we can- model systems have been done again and <v Interviewee>again and again, and I'm almost tired of the models, that show we can get to the mom's <v Interviewee>early and we get them good prenatal care, we can cut down significantly on infant <v Interviewee>mortality. <v Interviewee>But we have used the last 2 decades to reduce infant mortality,
<v Interviewee>not by improving prenatal care, but by taking better care <v Interviewee>of the premature infant after the baby's born. <v John Merrow>In other words, after the damage has been done. <v John Merrow>That doesn't make any sense. We all want healthy babies. <v John Merrow>We all pay for unhealthy ones. <v John Merrow>We don't have to choose between advanced technology and basic health care. <v John Merrow>We need both. And we need to guarantee access to care for all <v John Merrow>pregnant women and babies. <v John Merrow>That's a matter of life and death. <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>A week old, mother had a urinary tract infection 3 days prior to delivery. <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>She had a fever, 102, 103 for 5 days and culture from UCSF <v Dr. Jay Goldsmith>told the [fade out] [background chatter from emergency room, doctors and nurses talking over each other] [EKG machine flat lines] [music plays]
Your Children, Our Children
Life & Death
Producing Organization
MGW Productions
KTCA-TV (Television station : Saint Paul, Minn.)
Contributing Organization
Twin Cities Public Television (St. Paul, Minnesota)
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Episode Description
"Dana weighed one and a half pounds at birth. To survive, she spent the first four months of her life in a neo-natal intensive care unit at a cost of nearly $100,000. Was all of this necessary? Life and Death reveals the startling reality that while American [excels] at high-tech medicine, our care of infants and mothers is poor compared to many other nations. The solutions are low-tech, cost-effective, time-honored and tested -- and, yet, inexplicably, not widely practiced in this country. "YOUR CHILDREN, OUR CHILDREN is the first television series to focus national attention on America's 67-million children. 'America has always considered itself a child-oriented society,' says Executive Producer John Merrow, 'but today there's evidence that we're turning away from our children.' YCOC looks at issues critical to the welfare of our children -- infant health; child care; being 'normal;' sex and sexuality; part-time work, part-time school; and neglect and abuse. It does so not by interviewing 'experts,' but through the eyes of real children and adults. Rather than presenting a series of 'problems,' this series presents issues and makes their local solution both compelling and possible. "YOUR CHILDREN, OUR CHILDREN represents a different and exciting use of television - as a catalyst and focal point for community involvement. Town meetings and other activities were sponsored in state legislatures, and even in the U.S. Congress. Legislation has resulted (or is in process) in several communities and states. Seven nationwide radio call-in programs were broadcast by National Public Radio. Individual viewer guides were prepared for each program, and more than 50,000 teacher guides were distributed. Organizations dealing with child welfare issues were pulled together in communities, often for the first time, to collaborate on drawing attention to and solving problems."--1984 Peabody Awards entry form. This episode includes interviews with Rachel Stewart, a woman who with expectant mothers before and after their pregnancy, Joy Castell, a nurse at a satellite facility who performs maternity visits, Dr. Jay Goldsmith, a doctor who treats premature babies, and various mothers who either participate in the model program in Louisiana or suffered through difficult pregnancies.
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Producing Organization: MGW Productions
Producing Organization: KTCA-TV (Television station : Saint Paul, Minn.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Twin Cities Public Television (KTCA-TV)
Identifier: cpb-aacip-7d24aa93b87 (Filename)
Format: 1 inch videotape
Generation: Dub
Duration: 00:28:48
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-51ed3e495e1 (Filename)
Format: U-matic
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Chicago: “Your Children, Our Children; Life & Death,” 1984, Twin Cities Public Television, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022,
MLA: “Your Children, Our Children; Life & Death.” 1984. Twin Cities Public Television, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <>.
APA: Your Children, Our Children; Life & Death. Boston, MA: Twin Cities Public Television, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from