As a new or expecting mother, you want to feel reassured that your baby will be born in the safest environment possible. While that is the expectation you should have, the reality is that more and more mishaps are happening during deliveries throughout hospitals in the United States. These errors have led to increasing birth injuries, which are those causing temporary and permanent distress to infants nationwide. When you have to worry about how safe the hospital in your area is, it’s an unsettling situation for you and your unborn child.
Are Hospitals Safe for Women in the U.S.?
The fact is that hospitals in the U.S. have the resources to protect you during labor. The concern is that, despite knowing how to handle the delivery process with the utmost care, hospitals often don’t carry out cautious means. Investigations, such as one this past July by the USA Today, revealed that thousands of American women have suffered life-altering injuries or have even died during childbirth.
Women have been endangered within the hospital system because medical professionals have been skipping safety practices known to ward off medical disasters. They are not weighing bloody pads soon enough to track blood loss. They are not giving medication within an hour of recognizing dangerously high blood pressure to prevent strokes. These are basic, inexpensive tasks that these professionals should be exercising to save lives.
Since standard practices are not being followed through with enough consistency, more children are suffering birth injuries in conjunction with their mother’s deteriorating condition. Women are being put at risk of organ failure, blood clots, and infections, leading to babies potentially being denied oxygen and essential nutrients. Cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, and other birth injuries are possible if your health is compromised, making the subsequent delivery all the more difficult.
In truth, the United States is the most dangerous place to give birth in the developed world, with over 50,000 mothers suffering severe injuries during childbirth. In comparison with other developed nations such as France, Germany, and Japan, where the maternal injury/death rate has decreased, it’s the complete opposite in the USA. In 2015, that rate was 26/4 per 100,000 births, making it the developed world’s highest rate. While those numbers may scare you, you may fare better if you live in California. Thanks to implementing improved safety practices, California’s injury/death rate during childbirth has been cut in half. Regulators and oversight groups that could require hospitals to do more to protect women are not doing so, according to USA Today. As a result, these improved safety practices haven’t been sweeping the nation as they should.
What Could Be Causing More Birth Injuries in the U.S.?
Birth injuries have been on the rise since the turn of the millennium. A study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) shows that during the 2000s, there was a 75% increase in emergencies during deliver while there was a 50% increase in post-delivery complications during that period. Considering these facts and with hospitals not employing safety measures, birth injuries are becoming more prominent. Of every 1,000 infants born in the United States, 6 to 8 of them are born with a birth injury. The most common birth injuries in the U.S. include:
- Erb’s palsy
- None fractures
- Caput succedaneum
- Perinatal asphyxia
- Intracranial hemorrhage
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage
- Facial paralysis,
- Spinal cord injuries
- Cerebral palsy
These birth injuries are happening more because the quality of care continues to fail when needed to aid a prolonged or complicated delivery. In cases like these, a C-section is usually recommended. However, when one is not performed in an adequate timeframe or at all, that can have serious repercussions for you and your baby. Such instances can result in various birth injuries, ranging from fetal distress, cerebral palsy, brain damage to even stillbirth.
If your baby is in the breech position or you have major physical hindrances, circumstances may dictate that you require a forceps or vacuum delivery. Using such an operative vaginal delivery process can be harmful in itself considering the force applied, which could trigger birth injuries like Erb’s palsy, affecting your baby’s brachial plexus nerve network.
Another reason birth injuries continue to be prominent is the dwindling level of self-accountability among doctors and nurses regarding their care practices. One example is the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City, which saw 12% of their patients suffer hemorrhaging in 2013 alone, triple the national rate. Healthcare professionals were quick to blame mothers for being unusually high-risk pregnancies rather than scrutinizing their own care. They failed to diagnose hemorrhaging fast enough, admitting they didn’t act with the necessary speed to eliminate these issues.
Time is needed to handle pre-existing conditions and other red flags so that mothers won’t have to endure a grueling delivery, suffer birthing injuries or distress, or have their baby’s health endangered.
Seeking Legal Help After Experiencing a Birth Injury
With maternal and birth injuries skyrocketing in the U.S., more medical malpractice lawsuits will be filed as several of these injuries were preventable. The Safe Birth Project offers legal case help to give your case a boost after experiencing injuries.
Hiring an experienced birth injury lawyer gives you the opportunity to understand your rights in such a case while accumulating the facts necessary to validate your claim to the courts. Though there are lawyers able to present your case on various injuries, there are some lawyers who specialize in assessing a particular birth injury. Having legal experts like those at the Safe Birth Project with vast experience in analyzing birth injury cases is paramount because these cases can be quite intricate. Though these are considered personal injury cases, a general personal injury lawyer may not have the specific knowledge needed to handle a birth injury case.
Following pre-litigation, your lawyer will collect documents, additional evidence, gather witness information, and more to build your case. When your case is successful, you and your family can get the financial compensation needed to rebuild following stressful physical and emotional trauma.
Contact us for legal case help today!