Hospitals Child Birth Safety December 28, 2016
Over 250,000 people lose their lives each year as a result of medical error, making it the third leading cause of death in our country. Only cancer and heart disease claim more lives annually. Obstetrics is an area of medicine that is especially prone to medical error since there are so many variables that come into play during childbirth.
Birth Injuries are a Nationwide Concern
Approximately 25,000 birth injuries occur each year in U.S. hospitals. These injuries have devastating and sometimes fatal consequences. Brain injuries, broken bones, Bell’s palsy, Cerebral Palsy, shoulder injuries, and bruising are some of the most common birth injuries that result from doctor negligence or incompetence. The misuse of forceps, vacuums, and excessive force used by doctors during the birthing process can leave perfectly healthy babies with disabling cognitive and physical impairment.
Obstetric patient safety programs that include strong communication among medical professionals, low doctor/patient ratios, effective quality review protocols, and standardized obstetric care plans have been shown to significantly reduce the incidence of birth injuries in hospitals. Studies conducted by the Yale School of Medicine and the New York Weill Cornell Medical Center reported over a 90 percent reduction in the number of obstetric medical malpractice suits when safety programs were put into effect.
These studies showed that hospitals using electronic medical records have access to comprehensive medical information on patients that lowers the likelihood of medical error. These systems have built in components that alert doctors of potential errors that could harm both mother and baby, including a history of adverse reactions to medications or dangerous interactions between medications.
Doctors who are called away from one patient to tend to another risk the safety of all of the mothers and babies involved. Emergency situations often arise during childbirth that require split second decision-making. Low doctor-patient ratios in hospitals allow physicians to attend to their patients without interruption. Hospitals that have a senior obstetrician in charge of overseeing the care of all patients also have had a lower number of reported birth injuries.
Organizational Tools Help to Reduce Birth Injuries
Color coded medications and IV lines, and medication checklists also help doctors and nurses avoid errors. Medications can look very similar and color coding the medications with a patient’s IV lines can reduce the chance of error. Medical personnel should also be properly trained on the use of electronic fetal heart monitors that provide pertinent information on how well a baby is handling the stress of childbirth. When these instruments are monitored or interpreted incorrectly, the results can be devastating.
Hospitals that have proactive obstetrical procedures and patient safety programs provide a level of care that can reduce the number of injuries to healthy babies during childbirth. When obstetricians, nurses, and medical technicians make mistakes because of medical incompetence or negligence, medical malpractice lawsuits can hold those responsible liable for the injuries that occur.
Philadelphia Birth Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Help Victims of Medical Malpractice Claim Compensation
Philadelphia birth injury lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP understand how devastating it is when a baby is injured by the incompetence or negligence of a doctor during childbirth. We are dedicated to helping our clients claim the maximum compensation available. Call us at 1-800-222-USWA (8792), or contact us online to schedule a consultation today.
Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia, Center Valley, and Reading, Pennsylvania, and proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Allentown, Reading, Bala Cynwyd, Merion Station, Wynnewood, Philadelphia, Narberth, Gladwyne, Elkins Park, Cheltenham, Wyncote, Upper Darby, Ardmore, Glenside, Lafayette Hill, Havertown, Haverford, Flourtown, Darby, Oreland, Jenkintown, Drexel Hill, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County.