Published On: Thu, Mar 25th, 2021

Why Are Birth Injuries Higher in Military Hospitals?

As of 2018, military hospitals were the site of over 50,000 births. The babies born in military hospitals are twice as likely to sustain a birth injury during delivery than infants born in other hospitals in the U.S. The New York Times discovered internal documents for military hospitals, and these documents revealed that medical intervention in the birth process is not always thorough, which can lead to chronic errors. 

Birth Injuries vs Birth Defects 

Birth defects are health problems that are related to the baby’s DNA or development. Examples of birth defects are Down Syndrome, a heart murmur, or a cleft palate. Sometimes a baby can experience a birth defect if the mother takes SSRIs during her pregnancy. 

A birth injury, on the other hand, is an injury that a child sustains during or shortly after labor and delivery. Birth injuries can be minor issues like bruising or lacerations, or they can be severe injuries that could be life-threatening. Medical staff can sometimes make mistakes that will cause harm to the baby. 

Some of these mistakes could permanently affect the baby. There are several reasons why these mistakes occur, including medical staff exhaustion or inattentiveness, or inexperience. However, these reasons are no excuse since they can put a baby’s health and life at risk. 

The High Rate of Military Hospital Birth Injuries 

Studies show that the high rate of birth injuries in military hospitals could be due to the way that patients are treated. In October 2010, a woman who was the wife of a soldier was admitted to a military hospital because she was having difficulty swallowing and had a high fever. 

The woman was five months pregnant. The nurses at the hospital sent her back home without reviewing her file. The hospital gave the woman an appointment with an oral surgeon to have her wisdom teeth removed. The next day, the woman returned to the military hospital in an ambulance. 

The woman was airlifted to a civilian hospital in an attempt to save her and her unborn baby. However, due to severe sepsis, the woman miscarried and passed away. Her death was not investigated. 

From 2001 to 2013, there were 239 reported unexpected deaths in military hospitals. The New York Times found that only 100 of these cases were sent to the Pentagon safety center for further investigation. Mothers give birth to more than 50,000 babies each year in military hospitals. Hemorrhaging after labor and delivery is the most common injury mothers experience. 

It is important to note that birth injuries can occur at any hospital. However, the instance of these errors is higher at military hospitals. Military medical facilities do have patient safety programs, but these programs have not been effective in remedying medical errors. 

One of the mistakes that occur most often is not reading the patient’s medical records and history correctly. In one situation, miscommunication between the medical staff resulted in the death of an unborn baby when the physician operated on the wrong area of the mother’s body. Undetected fetal stress can also lead to permanent injuries for the baby.

Breech Birth Injuries 

Birth injuries can cause complications that could last throughout the child’s life. In many cases consistent medical care and therapy are necessary. Depending on how severe the injury is, it can be very expensive for parents to care for the child. Some parents could pay more than a million dollars over the child’s lifespan for medical care because of a birth injury. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asserts that the lifetime care costs for a child with cerebral palsy are about $1 million. If a child suffers hearing loss as a result of a birth injury, the cost of care is around $400,000.

If your baby sustained a birth injury, you should contact a lawyer to review your cerebral palsy case. An attorney will review your case and assess the details of your child’s birth. This information can help you form solid neglect or medical malpractice case so you and your family can receive the pain and suffering settlement you’re entitled to. 

 About the Author

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Katherine Webre is a passionate writer with years of experience in legal. She has dedicated her career to represent the most vulnerable among us, children who have suffered severe injustice. Beyond legal action, Katherine also takes up the pen to raise awareness and inform audiences about birth injuries. By sharing her expertise, she hopes to empower people to act against any prejudice and works as a collaborative editor for Birth Injury Lawyer.

About the Author

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