published Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

One-third of 802 Tennessee child deaths were 'probably preventable'

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    “While we are pleased to have made improvements in the review process and progress in most areas of reducing deaths, we remain disturbed that too many of our children are dying from preventable causes,” said Dr. John Dreyzehner, commissioner of the state Department of Health.
    Photo by The Tennessean /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

A total of 802 children died in Tennessee in 2011, with a third of those deaths a result of abuse, murder, drowning, suicide, suffocation or other preventable causes, according to new data released Tuesday by the Department of Health.

State health officials note it is the fewest number of child deaths they have had to report in the past five years.

Still, the new data are unlikely to shake Tennessee’s grim foothold on the top 10 list for states in the country with the highest child death rates.

Children are more likely to die in Tennessee before they reach their 18th birthday than in most other states, surpassing the national average of 52 deaths for every 100,000 children. In Tennessee, the average was closer to 66 deaths per 100,000 children, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data for 2010, the most recent year that national comparison data are available. By 2011, child deaths claimed 60 of every 100,000 Tennessee children.

Read more at The Tennessean.

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