Regardless of whether you are a potential parent that is currently expecting or a seasoned parent with multiple children that is expecting another, you normally have one common goal, to give birth safely. Undoubtedly, you have researched which facility you will use when you go into labor, and you are keenly aware of the health risks, for both you and your baby, associated with giving birth. Despite how much you may have prepared for going into labor, you are ultimately placing your life and the life of your newborn child in the hands of a doctor. Unfortunately, doctors are human, and they do make mistakes. This fact becomes abundantly clear when you consider the number of avoidable birth injuries that take place in the United States.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, there were nearly 157,000 potentially avoidable injuries to both mothers and infants during birth in 2006, and according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the infant mortality rate in the U.S. was 5.87 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2016. Moreover, unintentional injuries were the third leading cause of post-neonatal infant mortality in the United States as of 2016, accounting for 27.4 deaths per 100,000 births according to the CDC. Although there is an ongoing effort to lower the infant mortality rate in our country, injuries sustained by infants and mothers during birth are still a major problem, which is why every parent should be aware of some of the most common causes of birth injuries in the U.S.
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Four Common Causes of Birth Injuries
Injuries During Assisted Labor
When a mother is giving birth, a doctor will often use a vacuum or forceps to pull the infant through the birth canal while the mother is pushing, but when this technique is done incorrectly, it can cause both the mother and the infant to sustain injuries. Injuries associated with this technique are known as obstetric trauma with the use of an instrument. In 2006, obstetric trauma with the use of an instrument was the leading cause of birth injuries in the United States. Common injuries associated with obstetric trauma include:
- Skull Fractures
- Collar Bone Fractures
- Brain Damage
Failing to Perform an Emergency C-Section
As any parent will tell you, going through labor is stressful, really stressful, which is why we rely on doctors to make important decisions during the labor process. In certain emergency situations, doctors are forced to perform an emergency cesarean section, C-section, in order to save your baby’s life or to ensure the infant is born safely. Unfortunately, some doctors will hesitate to perform a C-section when it is needed, and this delay in performing the procedure can injure your child permanently. Common injuries associated with delays in performing a C-section include:
- Brain damage
- Cerebral palsy
- Developmental disabilities
Administering the Wrong Medication
According to a study performed by John Hopkins University, one of the leading medical schools in the country, there are an estimated 250,000 patients that are killed due to medical errors each year. So, it may not come as a surprise that there are infants injured and killed each year due to medical errors, but one the most common types of medical errors in the case of birth injuries involves administering the wrong medication. As any parent or doctor will tell you, each medication you take during your pregnancy should be scrutinized by a medical professional to ensure the drug will not adversely affect your baby, but nurses, doctors, and medical assistants can and do accidentally administer the wrong type of medication to a mother going into labor. This can cause the infant to sustain a number of internal birth injuries that can be fatal depending on the type of drug that was given to the mother.
Failure to Identify and Treat a Prolapsed Umbilical Cord
A prolapsed umbilical cord is a type of labor complication that can occur while a mother is giving birth. In this instance, the umbilical cord drops into the birth canal ahead of the infant, and as a result, the infant’s body can press against the umbilical cord while the baby is going through the birth canal thereby cutting off the infant’s oxygen supply. Failing to identify and treat a prolapsed umbilical cord can cause an infant to sustain permanent brain damage, and in some instances, the lack of oxygen could be fatal.
Personal Injury Attorney in Fort Lauderdale, FL
Birth injuries can have a devastating impact on your baby’s health forever, and the medical care needed to treat your child’s injuries can be extremely expensive, which is why it is so important for you to speak with a personal injury attorney if your child has been injured as a result of a negligent doctor or hospital. At Friedland and Associates, our personal injury has helped hundreds of parents seek justice for their children, and he stands ready to help you. Don’t let a birth injury ruin your child’s future. Call Friedland and Associates today to speak with a personal injury attorney who is ready to fight for your child’s rights.