It used to be understood that childbirth was a dangerous undertaking. Women and babies alike commonly died in the process.
Most people believe that the days of home births attended only by midwives and without anesthesia are no longer the norm.
Well, they’re wrong. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), birth injuries have shot up 75% since 2000. Infant mortality rates in the United States — which once were falling year by year — have been rising for decades.
No other industrialized country has the same problem. For example, the United States has a higher infant mortality rate right now than countries like Singapore, Cuba and Antigua.
What’s going wrong? There are a number of things happening:
- Maternal care is being doled out unequally. Some hospitals experience low maternal death rates while others experience far higher rates. Research indicates that the hospitals with high death rates often ignore symptoms of maternal distress, e.g., pre-eclampsia.
- Anoxic injuries are common. Those are injuries where the infant is deprived of oxygen during the delivery. In some cases, the infant is too large to pass through the birth canal but the doctor fails to schedule a C-section. Other times, labor goes on too long, leading to things like cerebral palsy.
- Mechanical birth injuries are also common. The excessive use of force to remove a child from the birth canal with forceps or other tools can lead to life-long disabilities and nerve damage.
When a childbirth goes wrong, it can be incredibly difficult to focus past your loss and sorrow and think about practical concerns — but that may be the only way to hold the doctors, nurses and hospital accountable for your loss. Your actions may also save another family from experiencing the same kind of grief that you’ve experienced. Contact our law office today to discuss your case.