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The Baltimore Sun

State is striving to save infants

The editorial "Why do so many die?" (Sept. 28) highlights a serious issue - Maryland's high infant mortality rate - but suggests that little is being done about it. Let me correct that misconception. This is a complex problem being tackled by numerous concerned organizations.

For instance, the Perinatal Safety Culture Collaborative, led by the Maryland Patient Safety Center, with funding from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, has identified and implemented clinical practices to make births safer for babies and mothers.

Over the last 18 months, most hospitals in Maryland that deliver babies have participated in the only statewide initiative of its kind in the U.S. Hospitals here are working cooperatively toward our goal of zero preventable adverse events during labor and delivery. As a result, hospitals are adopting new clinical techniques, such as rehearsing emergency situations, making sure every aspect of the delivery adheres to best practices and holding frequent "huddles" to improve communication among nurses and doctors.

This effort is a component of Babies Born Healthy, a multipronged initiative of the state's health department.

Dr. William Minogue, Elkridge

The writer is executive director of the Maryland Patient Safety Center.

No standing to rebuke Russia's aggression

The column "A working relationship" (Commentary, Oct.7) is exactly correct when it suggests that the "U.S. must continue cooperating with Russia to reduce the nuclear threat despite its actions in Georgia." We need Russia as an ally, but the Bush administration has turned Russia into a dangerous enemy. How can the U.S. criticize Russia's actions in Georgia after we invaded the sovereign nation of Iraq in 2003?

I hope the next administration will replace war-mongering with diplomacy.

Ray Gordon, Bel Air

Very little substance behind Palin's smile

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin reminds me of the real estate term "curb appeal."

However, this attractive woman shows no substance behind the attractive exterior - not unlike a Hollywood Main Street.

Lynn Cripps, Baltimore

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