Study Shows Adopting Safety Measures Can Significantly Reduce Birth Injuries

A recent study conducted by the Premier Health Care Alliance concluded that those hospitals that adopt a host of perinatal best practices as part of the Premier Perinatal Safety Initiative were able to significantly reduce the number of Barth injuries occurring at their hospitals, as well as lowering hospital costs and legal liability.  By following the suggested practices, the number of traumatic birth experiences that can profoundly affect both patients and hospital staff declined anywhere from 5.4% to 25%.  

Birth injury statistics provide that adverse events occur in nearly 9% of all deliveries.   Of these 30% are avoidable medical errors, with poor communication cited as the leading cause of avoidable adverse events.   

Where a hospital, doctor or other health care professional fails to follow the proper standard of care – or makes a medical error as the result of carelessness or recklessness – and a patient is harmed, it may be possible to bring a medical malpractice action.   If you believe your child may have suffered a birth injury due to medical malpractice, it’s important to consult with an experienced California birth injury attorney.  

Although many different types of birth injuries exist, some of the more common birth traumas include:

  • Birth Hypoxia/Asphyxia.  The loss of oxygen or blood follow can lead to permanent neurologic disability such as cerebral palsy.
  • Brachial Plexus Injuries.    
  • Jaundice.

The report – the Premier Perinatal Safety Initiative – was launched to evaluate “preventable harm” that occurs during the birth of a child – particularly where a difficult delivery is involved.   The study then identified a handful of practices that when adopted by hospitals and medical staff reduced the number of medical errors and improved the outcome for patients.

These suggestions include:

?    Estimating fetal weight prior to administer oxytocin
?    Improving communication among hospital staff and patients

One doctor affiliated with the study noted that the study provided key steps aimed at improving patient outcomes, adding  “We don’t ever use the term ‘defensive medicine,’ ” he said, adding that doctors and nurses want to “do the right thing,” and the evidence shows that the initiative’s interventions—when consistently applied—have positive results.?
Hopefully, more and more hospitals across the nation will adopt similar standards to improve patient safety and decrease the number of preventable birth injuries.

For more information or to speak with a knowledgeable San Francisco birth injury attorney, contact the top California medical malpractice lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson for an immediate consultation.

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Erik Lloyd Peterson

Licensed since 1991

Member at firm Bostwick & Peterson LLP

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