Common Causes of Childbirth Injury
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates an average of 4 million babies are born every year in the United States. Studies suggest that 6 to 8 babies out of every 1,000 will suffer from birth injuries in the nation. This means that 1 in 9,714 Americans are born with a birth injury, more than 24,000 per year. To better understand the injuries, it is important to know how a baby can sustain the damage.
Childbirth Injury Causes
Many individuals often confuse birth injuries with birth defects. The latter occurs because of genetic or environmental factors, or sometimes the cause is never known. Unless caused by medication or chemical exposure, birth defects are usually unpreventable. By contrast, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality estimates that almost 50% of childbirth injuries are preventable. Medical malpractice is a common cause of birth injury.
Doctors and nurses are obligated to follow the acceptable standard of care to ensure a baby is safely delivered. When they fail to do so, the lives of both mother and child are at risk. Some of the most cited errors include:
- Failure to monitor fetal or maternal vital signs
- Excessive uterine stimulation with oxytocin (Pitocin)
- Failure to recognize cephalopelvic disproportion
- Misuse of forceps or vacuum
These mistakes can cause hypoxic injury (lack of oxygen) to the baby’s brain resulting in cerebral palsy. Or, they can lead to uterine rupture, hemorrhage and maternal death.
Cases involving birth injuries are complicated and expensive. They require considerable expertise and experience. At Hampton & King, we fight for birth injury victims across Houston. If your child sustained injuries at birth because of malpractice or negligence, contact our Houston birth injury lawyers today. We help families seek the justice they deserve.