Birth asphyxia is a potentially deadly complication that happens when an infant isn’t receiving a sufficient amount of oxygen before, during or immediately after birth. Because birth asphyxia may cause severe neurological injuries such as cerebral palsy, it’s important for hospital staff to carefully monitor an infant’s oxygen levels and act swiftly when a problem arises.
That’s what makes the results of a new study so troubling: Researchers discovered that most cases of birth asphyxia were caused by medical negligence.
The study, published in the medical journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, made the following findings:
- Substandard care and inadequate fetal monitoring were the cause of 50 percent of birth asphyxia cases
- Lack of experience, knowledge or skill accounted for 14 percent of instances of birth asphyxia
- Non-compliance with medical guidelines factored into 11 percent of birth asphyxia cases
“Substandard care is common in birth asphyxia, and human error is the cause in most cases,” said researcher Dr. Stine Andraesen.
While birth asphyxia results in neurological injury or wrongful death in virtually every occurrence, only about half of the medical malpractice claims in the study ended in the recovery of money damages. Even when medical negligence is blatantly obvious, a birth injury lawsuit still involves sizable challenges.
An experienced birth injury lawyer can help your family explore legal options after a medical mistake.
McKeen & Associates P.C., is a personal injury law firm that is nationally known for its successful litigation of medical malpractice claims. Based in Detroit, Michigan, McKeen & Associates handles birth trauma claims anywhere in the country.
Source: AboutLawsuits.com, “Birth Asphyxia Complications Often Caused By Medical Mistakes: Study,” Martha Garcia, Nov. 21, 2013