Many babies who suffer a fatal birth brain injury could have survived their injuries if they had received better care and attention. Those are the results of a study that was conducted in the United Kingdom and reiterates the role played by optimum medical care and attention, both before and during delivery in helping reduce fatalities.
The shocking results of the study were based on the rates of stillbirths, birth brain injuries, and neonatal fatalities that occurred in the United Kingdom in 2015. All of these incidents occurred during the birthing process. The review was conducted by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and focused on care provided to more than 1,100 babies born in the U.K. in 2015. The babies all suffered fatal/non-fatal brain injuries during childbirth.
According to the review, 126 of the babies were stillborn, while 156 died within a week after being born. More than 850 suffered severe brain injuries. The study found that 75% of the brain injuries could have been avoided if the babies had received proper care and attention.
According to the researchers, some of the most common problems associated with childbirth injuries were the inaccurate assessment of the well-being of the baby during labor, problems with staff understanding of critically important issues, and defective processing of complicated situations. For instance, the review found that staff failed in their ability to correctly integrate the heart rate of the baby.
Those are staggering statistics. It is shocking to think that more than 75% of birth brain injuries could have been prevented if more care was paid to the health of the baby during and before the birthing process. This study was conducted in the United Kingdom, but as Indiana medical malpractice attorneys see, incidents of negligent care like these are also found often in cases of birth injury in American hospitals. Failure to monitor fetal health, failure to monitor the health of the mother, and all kinds of other failures contribute to several fatal or serious birth injuries every year.
Many of these birth injuries result in fatalities or leave the baby with a long-term injury that severely limits cognitive and mental functioning. What is even more shocking is that the review found many of these birth injury cases are not subjected to a thorough investigation and analysis after the event, which means that many parents do not receive an explanation about their child’s fatal injury.
The researchers in the United Kingdom have a number of suggestions for how such birth injuries can be avoided. First, they recommend that all women admitted for delivery undergo formal assessments to understand the appropriate level of fetal heart rate monitoring required in each case. They also suggest that certain key staff members be given the authority to undertake clinical oversight, especially in those cases involving an unusual or complicated birth.
The Indiana birth injury lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP represent mothers and babies who have suffered long-term harm as a result of childbirth injuries across Indiana. Contact our firm right away as your available time to file a claim can be limited.