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Six of Every 1,000 Babies Born in US Suffer Severe Birth Injuries

Posted by copeland on October 14, 2014

Newborn sleeping

The United States boasts one of the world's most advanced medical and healthcare systems. Yet statistics show that our nation's newborns suffer avoidable birth injuries at far too high a rate. Each year, six of every 1,000 babies suffer birth trauma injuries that can saddle them with lifelong health and developmental issues. Most heartbreaking is that many of these incidents are entirely avoidable, birth injury attorneys say.

Childbirth complications and medical mistakes can lead to severe cases involving cerebral palsy, an irreversible condition that can affect an array of brain and nervous system functions including movement, learning, hearing, seeing and thinking; Erb's palsy, a paralysis that affects the muscles of the upper arm and shoulder; spinal cord damage; bone fractures or facial paralysis

According to statistical research by agencies including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Hospitals report 28,000 birth injuries per year, 2,333 per month, 538 per week, 76 per day, three per hour; 
  • Birth injuries are to blame for 20 percent of all infant deaths;
  • Birth injuries inexplicably are more frequent among male babies than female babies; 
  • Birth injuries are more numerous in large hospitals (those with more than 300 beds); 
  • They're also more frequent in non-profit hospitals than in for-profit hospitals.

Among the most common preventable birth injury causes are the inappropriate or incorrect use of devices like forceps and vacuums and of medications like oxytocin or misoprostol; and the failure to recognize fetal distress, to properly resuscitate an unresponsive baby, or to perform a timely caesarean-section delivery.

While many birth injury effects are immediately recognizable, many may not be evident for several years or even until a child enters school. If your child suffers an adverse health or development issue that you believe may have been caused by a preventable birth injury, contact attorneys with Orlando's Todd E. Copeland and Associates at 407-999-8995.