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Simple safety measures can dramatically reduce birth injuries

Birth injuries that occur in California hospitals can have fatal outcomes or cause devastating lifelong consequences. However, a recent report by Public Citizen has demonstrated how simple procedural changes can be used to dramatically reduce negative outcomes in hospital births. The report detailed what happened over the course of 15 years when four medical organizations implemented a birth safety initiative.

The medical organizations that were studied were Ascension Health, New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, Premier Inc. and Hospital Corporation of America. All four of the organizations made changes that included more communications training for delivery room staff, simulations to practice responses to emergency delivery situations and the use of more caution before going forward with a cesarean section delivery.

After the birth safety initiative was implemented in the 43 hospitals operated by Ascension Health, neonatal fatality rates dropped by almost 50 percent. Before this dramatic improvement, Acension Health reportedly already ranked 62 percent below the national average for neonatal fatalities. Premier Inc. saw a 74-percent reduction in birth trauma for full term infants across its 16 hospitals, and maternal fatalities from pulmonary embolisms went down by 86 percent at Hospital Corporation of America. New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center was able to significantly reduce the incidence of brain injuries from lack of oxygen.

Parents are sometimes unaware of the exact reasons as to why their baby was injured during delivery until after an investigation is completed. If parents suspect that there might have been negligence in the delivery room, they might want to get in contact with an attorney. An attorney may be able to help parents determine who was liable for their baby’s injury and pursue an appropriate award for damages.

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