Birth Injuries due to Medical Mistakes

It is found on occasion there are birth injuries that stem from just being born. A few of the reasons for birthing injuries could include large babies that weigh more than eight pounds; premature babies that are born before 37 weeks as their bodies tend to be more fragile; the size and shape of the mother’s pelvis is not accommodating for her to give birth vaginally; or in some cases, the baby is born breached. Other times it is negligence of the hospital staff that causes the birth injuries; some are minor but others can be life threatening or life altering.

An approximate 30,299 infants are born each year in the United States with birth injuries.

Many of the cases of birth injuries are from oxygen deprivation. Oxygen deprivation can be caused by the umbilical cord being in the wrong position, the placenta detaches from the uterus, or the uterus tears. This type of birth injury can cause mental disorders and Cerebral Palsy. The best way to avoid this injury is to make sure the health care provider monitors the fetus.

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development states that infants that suffer from oxygen deprivation may benefit from having their body temperature lowered within the first six hours of their lives; this is done with a “CoolCap.” The CoolCap has water that is 40 degrees Fahrenheit circulating through it; this cap is placed on the infants head. The infant wears this cap for 72 hours, and the infant’s baby temperature is brought down between 93 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Statistics show that the percentage of infants that die from moderate brain injury is reduced from 39 percent to 25 percent.

The much publicized accidental overdoses that risked the lives of infant twins is another example of birth injuries Dennis Quaid’s son and daughter. When the twins were 11 days old they developed a staph infection and were hospitalized where they were given 1000 times the recommended dose of heparin, a blood thinner.

Unfortunately, there are too many medical errors to mention but there are four ways to stop medical mistakes: Be there, stay with the patient at all times; ask questions; know your rights, this includes having the right to see your medical records; and go with your gut, if it seems like the wrong time for medication or the medication looks different than before, do not accept it.