Getting To The Bottom Of Birth Risks
While there’s nothing more rewarding than bringing life into the world, it’s also a daunting prospect. Whether it’s your first birth or your fifth, it’s natural to feel some fear about what’s going to happen. Delivery does, after all, put our body under an undue strain. And, that’s not something anyone should enter lightly.
The severity of this issue only becomes more frightening when we consider the amount of pregnancy related deaths we still see today. Women who give birth here in America are an astounding three times more likely to die than those in the UK. Anyone can see, then, that the treatment of birth-related issues needs attention.
Even in births which don’t result in fatalities, things don’t always go well. Roughly 28000 infants in the U.S. are born with congenital disabilities each year. These often come about as a result of medical malpractice. And, that’s a problem we should be talking about.
Take, for instance, the case of the Minnesota woman who was awarded $9 million this week after seeking the assistance of a personal injury attorney in the aftermath of a traumatic birth. During delivery, her son suffered a broken arm and severe nerve damage. During court proceedings, it was found that the force used by the midwife was ‘seven to eight times the average traction used in a routine delivery.’ The defense argued that the midwife acted swiftly after spotting complications which could have put lives at risk. Still, though, the methods used leave a lot to be desired..
Cases like these are enough to put fear into the heart of any mother. This is a time when we expect to put our trust in medical staff without it being abused. The whole purpose of a hospital birth is that we’re in the best place if things go wrong. We certainly don’t expect our newborns to be pulled with such force that they receive severe injuries.
Of course, it isn’t only broken bones which can occur during delivery. Many malpractice cases here often involve issues like cerebral palsy and brain damage. Each of which will alter the lives of our children forever. In situations like these, rulings usually find that staff aren’t acting fast enough after spotting complications.
This is in direct contrast to the speed the midwife acted with during the Minnesota birth, and it leads us to a pressing question. What can our teams do to solve this issue? Speed seems an obvious answer, but too much haste can cause just as much damage. It seems, instead, that we should focus on the emergency plans our hospitals have in place.
It’s worth noting that not all congenital disabilities are preventable. But, organizations like Safe Birth Project outline crucial ways we can prevent those which are. Things like better practices and listening to the mother are simple steps, but they’re all that’s required for change. The only question is, how many injuries need to happen before the people who matter sit up and take note?