According to a blog post on the Injury Lawyer News website, birth injuries due to medical malpractice are on the rise in the United States. Moreover, this country has one of the highest rates of maternal death in the industrialized world, according to Save the Children, and is only 28th on the list of best places to be a mother.
A recently released study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that severe complications during childbirth have increased in recent years. From 2000 through 2009, emergencies during delivery grew by 75 percent and post-delivery complications rose by more than 50 percent.
Some of the complications, such as severe bleeding, can be deadly. Other complications are especially dangerous to women with pre-existing medical conditions such as kidney disease or diabetes. Caregivers must consider a woman’s health when managing labor and delivery.
Medical experts called for better guidelines and training after the release of the report, which also described the recent growth in birth injuries to infants. They emphasized the need for effective communication and the ability to respond rapidly when emergencies arise. They encouraged providers and hospitals to develop training techniques that include drills that re-create emergency situations.
Several recent birth injury lawsuits have received attention on professional websites and in the general media, including a Massachusetts case involving a baby born with a severe form of cerebral palsy that his parents charged was caused by the failure to perform a C-section. The infant did not breathe for many minutes after his mother’s long and difficult labor.
The family settled for $5 million during out-of-court negotiations. The settlement will pay for the around-the-clock care needed by the boy, who cannot perform normal functions such as eating, walking, talking or sitting up without help.
Similar medical malpractice cases occur throughout the country, including in New York. The CDC report indicates that the situation will not change significantly, even with recommended improvements in care during labor and delivery.
Source: Injury lawyer News, “Birth Injuries Due to Medical Errors on the Rise in the United States,” Dec. 28, 2012.