Doctor's unnecessarily let 50,000 healthy babies die each year by ignoring thyroid issues in pregnant women.
Missing a low thyroid, even if the tests are normal, increases the risk of miscarriage by over 500% and this risk was almost entirely eliminated by simply giving thyroid hormone. This is one of the most common causes of repeated miscarriages and premature births. A simple anti-TPO antibody blood test will identify if you should get thyroid (though I think all pregnant women with fatigue or a history of miscarriages as well as women with unexplained infertility should get thyroid hormone).
Here are the numbers from this study from the prestigious Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism:
With over 4 million live births a year in the U.S., this means not checking a TPO antibody and treating with thyroid if positive causes over 48,204 unnecessary miscarriages a year! And as many if not most miscarriages occur before people know they are pregnant, this is a gross underestimate.
It also causes 104,832 premature deliveries in this group. If given thyroid hormone it drops to 32,760. This means 72,072 unnecessary premature deliveries a year (and likely thousands of deaths) because some physicians won't treat low thyroid with normal tests. As reported by the March of Dimes, the average cost of a premature baby's hospital stay is about $58,000. That's $4 billion lost when screening, and treating the 4 million U.S. pregnancies could be done for under $400 million — a 90% cost saving.
Simply checking this simple anti-TPO antibody blood test in all pregnant women and treating with thyroid hormone if positive could save the life of over 50,000 babies a year and save over $3.5 billion a year in the USA alone. And these numbers are the tip of the iceberg. Not treating the low thyroid leaves the children with learning disabilities and a host of problems.
This is simply one more example of how critical it is that we "Heal Our Healthcare System!"