Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Henci Goer has no answer ... again

Henci Goer still can't give a straight answer to a straightforward question. Here's what I posted on her message board:
... I went back and looked at the neonatal mortality data for this group, the EXACT group that Johnson and Daviss felt was the perfect comparison for intervention rates. I did this by reviewing the exact same paper that Johnson and Daviss used... Looking at the raw data we find:

2,824,196 births to white women at term (37+ weeks), see Table 2
2,602 deaths of white babies weighing more that 2500 gm see Table 6
a death rate of 0.9/1000.

That's before congenital anomalies, breech and twins are excluded from the hospital group.

Johnson and Davis reported the following:

"After we excluded ... three babies with fatal birth defects, five deaths were intrapartum and six occurred during the neonatal period. This was a rate of 2.0 deaths per 1000 intended home births. The intrapartum and neonatal mortality was 1.7 deaths per 1000 low risk intended home births after planned breeches and twins (not considered low risk) were excluded."

If the congenital anomalies, breeches and twins are added back in, the death rate in 2.7/1000.

So, the neonatal death rate for white women at term in the year 2000 was 0.9/1000 and the neonatal death rate at homebirth was 2.7/1000. This is almost 3 times higher than the hospital death rate. Chi square analysis shows this to be statistically significant (p is less than 0.005)...
Here's what she wrote back:
Amy, Amy, Amy, give it a rest. I'm going to paste in my response to the excess neonatal death rate argument you made in the Lamaze blog some weeks ago. As I pointed out, you were using the wrong statistic for making the comparison then, and you are still using the wrong statistic now.
What would a REAL answer have looked like? A real answer would have investigated exactly where and how I obtained my numbers. Did I include the correct subgroups? Did I exclude the appropriate subgroups? Were my mathematical calculations correct? Obviously, Goer didn't take the time to do any of that. She simply offered the lame "apples-oranges" comment that she offered before. She touts herself as "an expert in the obstetric research", but she doesn't even take the time to analyze the actual statistics.

How dumb does she think you folks are? I'm sure you won't offer any public criticism, but even the staunchest supports of homebirth must be wondering why she cannot offer detailed, statistically based arguments.


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