Birth injury statistics in the United States of America.
Nationally, about 7 out of every 1,000 live births result in a birth injury. This is quite alarming, especially given the fact that a large portion of birth injuries are caused by medical malpractice.
Statistically speaking, the highest percentage of birth injuries occur in mothers between 25-34 who were subjected to birthing tools (forceps, vacuum extraction, etc). On a broader scale, mothers who delivered without the help of instruments had 30% fewer birth injuries between 2000 and 2006 than mothers who delivered with the use of instruments.
Obstetric trauma (injury to the mother during delivery) occurred in about 8% of women who did not require instrument assistance, 23% of women who had instrument-assisted vaginal deliveries, and 0.6% of cesarean section deliveries from 1994-2000.
Rates of birth injuries are statistically lower for Black and Hispanic mothers, and birth injuries in rural areas are 33% higher than they are within urban areas. These figures include both injuries to newborn babies, as well as trauma mothers suffer in instrument-assisted births.
Birth injuries on a macro scale.
In 2000, the AHRQ’s National Healthcare Quality Report found that birth trauma occurred in about 7-15 of every 1,000 live births between 1994 and 1997, and fell to about 7 per 1,000 in the year 2000. Additionally, the AHRQ found that:
- 6.68 out of every 1,000 birth injuries involved male infants.
- 5.08 out of every 1,000 birth injuries involved female infants.
- 4.33 out of every 1,000 birth injuries occurred in private, for-profit hospitals.
- 7.15 out of every 1,000 birth injuries occurred at non-profit, private hospitals.
- 6.11 out of every 1,000 birth injuries occurred in public hospitals.
- 5.53 out of every 1,000 birth injuries occurred in hospitals with 100 beds or fewer.
- 5.45 out of every 1,000 birth injuries occurred in hospitals with 100-200 beds.
- Brain Damage
- Hypoxia or Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
- Cerebral Palsy
- Erb’s Palsy
- Klumpke’s Palsy
- Shoulder Dystocia
- Paralysis or Damage to the Spinal Cord
- Infant Torticollis (trauma to the neck muscles).
- Ptosis (droopy eyelids).
- Broken Bones, including fractures of the clavicle (collarbone), and femur.
The development of cerebral palsy.
In the United States, there are currently about 800,000 people living with cerebral palsy. Approximately 10,000 babies are born with the condition each year, and many of these cases can be directly attributed to medical malpractice.
Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to a child’s developing brain, and is most-frequently caused by hypoxia, or a lack of oxygen/blood flow to the brain. With proper fetal monitoring, medical professionals should be able to detect any changes to the child’s vital signs and react accordingly in order to prevent serious birth injuries such as cerebral palsy.
The risk of medical malpractice.
Statistics show that in 2006 alone, around 157,700 injuries to mothers and babies could have been avoided. Studies show that nearly 50% of all birth injuries could be avoided through simple identification and planning for pre-delivery risk factors.
If you believe your child suffered a preventable birth injury, our firm can help determine if you may have a case for malpractice. You can reach us any time, day or night, by filling out the contact form on this page or calling our office at 1-877-405-4313 for a free consultation.
Speak With Our Birth Injury Attorneys For Free
The attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm are happy to speak to you about your potential case free of charge. If we can help with your claim, we’ll do so for no out-of-pocket cost to you. Call us 24/7 at (214) 651-6100, or toll-free at 1-877-405-4313.