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How Common Are Preventable Birth Injuries?

March 13th, 2017
On behalf of David Bowling of The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm, A Professional Law Corporation posted in Birth Injuries on Monday, March 13, 2017.

Despite the many advancements in obstetrics and gynecology over the past century, complications during childbirth are still fairly common. In fact, Reuters reports that the number of severe complications both during and after delivery has increased over the past two decades.




Researchers attribute much of this increase to widespread health issues, like obesity and hypertension, among the pregnant population. Unfortunately, even women who aim to improve their health before conceiving can experience complications during labor and delivery, and preventable birth injuries are more common than most people realize.

If your child suffered an injury at birth due to a doctor’s negligence, turn to a medical malpractice attorney from The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm. David A. Bowling is a New Orleans birth injury lawyer with more than 30 years of trial experience. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a consultation.

How Common Are Preventable Birth Injuries?

According to the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, there were 4.3 million births in the United States in 2006. Of those, 157,700 mothers and newborns sustained some kind of preventable injury during delivery, which works out to roughly 3.6 percent.

When it comes to specific birth injuries, the statistics vary. For example, according to Seattle Children’s, birth asphyxia is one of the most common injuries. It occurs in approximately four out of every 1,000 full-term births. Infants who are born prematurely are at a particularly high risk of suffering birth asphyxia.

What Is the Most Common Cause of Preventable Birth Injuries?

Researchers have determined that the most common cause of severe birth injuries is a lack of communication among the healthcare providers on the birthing team. The fact that such a small error could have lasting repercussions is devastating, and hospitals across the United States have enacted new procedures to improve communication.

In order to prevent severe birth injuries, hospital staff need to focus on fostering open lines of communication with the soon-to-be parents and among their own delivery team. When the providers work together, they will miss fewer signs of fetal distress. They will also provide more accurate dosages of various labor-related drugs at more appropriate times.

Another common cause of severe birth injuries is the use of birth-assisting tools like forceps and vacuum extractors. Although these tools are helpful during difficult deliveries, a healthcare team that works well together and knows how to communicate with one another will not need to rely on them unless absolutely necessary. Using such tools can result in skull fractures, brachial plexus injuries, brain hemorrhages, and cerebral palsy.

If your infant sustained severe injuries during delivery and you believe they occurred as a direct result of the delivery team’s negligence, turn to a birth injury lawyer from The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule an initial consultation with a New Orleans medical malpractice attorney. You can learn more about birth injury claims in Louisiana by visiting

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