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Hospital Safety and the Increasing Numbers of Birth Injuries

It comes to no surprise that of the 30 most technologically advanced hospitals in the world, over half of them are located in the United States. Despite this fact, however, many healthcare compliance agencies are becoming increasingly concerned about hospital safety, especially in the area of labor and delivery.

The Risks of Childbirth

Even though childbirth is a very common procedure, the process of labor and delivery has always come with risks. Between the 16th and 18th centuries, one in 34 women died during childbirth. Many of these deaths occurred during home deliveries. During the 18th and 19th centuries, women continued to die during childbirth, even though more of them were giving birth in hospitals.

Oftentimes, the cause of these hospital-related deaths was due to the use of unsterilized instruments and improper hand washing. Hospitals have come a long way since then, but while less women are dying during childbirth, the number of mishaps during deliveries is increasing. These mishaps are causing more birth injuries to happen in this country than ever before.

Birth Injury Statistics

Every year in the United States, 28,000 babies are born with a birth injury. Some of the most common birth injuries include cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, facial paralysis, intracranial hemorrhage, Erb’s palsy, bone fractures, and perinatal asphyxia. Along with the high number of birth injuries, many mothers every year are either getting injured or dying, during or shortly after childbirth.

According to one particular investigation, 50,000 mothers have sustained injury during childbirth and 700 of them have died. The increasing numbers of birth injuries, along with the high numbers of mothers getting injured or dying, has made the United States the most dangerous developed country in the world to give birth.

Preventing Birth Injuries

According to birth injury attorneys, Steinberg Goodman & Kalish, errors made during labor and delivery are one of the most common causes of birth injury. Mistakes are especially common during long or complicated deliveries that require an increased quality of care.

Some factors that make labor and delivery more involved include high birth weight, breech positions, and other physical hindrances. When obstetricians are more prepared for such complications, the less chance they have of making a mistake. This in turn results in reduced occurrences of injuries for both the baby and the mother.

When it comes to preventing birth injuries, doctors should be more aware of the appropriate timeframe to do a C-section. When this procedure is not done in time, babies are more likely to experience fetal distress and a lack of oxygen to the brain, which results in some of the most severe types of birth injuries, such as cerebral palsy. These types of injuries are life-altering for both the baby and the parents. Instead of being held accountable for the care they provide, some doctors and hospitals are also too quick to blame birth injury on high risk pregnancies.