Prospective North Carolina parents may be interested in learning more about avoidable medical injuries that can occur during childbirth. A 2009 study showed that there were 4.3 million childbirths in U.S. hospitals in 2006. Since childbirth is perhaps the most common reason for being hospitalized, the odds of being injured by malpractice during the procedure may not be as insignificant as some are led to believe.
There are indications that there can be differences in outcome depending whether new mothers use private health insurance or Medicaid. The 2009 study showed that though there were no observable differences in the rates of newborn injuries between poor or wealthy communities between 2000 and 2006, newborns generally had higher rates of injury if they were covered by Medicaid. However, mothers with private insurance actually had higher rates of obstetrical trauma than mothers with Medicaid did in that same period. Overall, there were at least 157,000 otherwise avoidable injuries sustained by mothers and newborns in 2006 alone.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has in recent years sought to categorize the different types of avoidable injury that can occur during childbirth. Some forms of birth injury can be exceedingly dangerous for mother and child alike, and they can potentially occur even when no medical instruments are being utilized.
Those who suffer an injury caused by malpractice on the part of hospital staff may be entitled to receive compensation for their pain and suffering and any additional medical expenses they accrue as a consequence. While it can sometimes be difficult to clearly demonstrate medical negligence, it can be possible to investigate hospital procedures to determine whether the facility should be named as a defendant as well.
Source: Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, “ Potentially Avoidable Injuries to Mothers and Newborns During Childbirth, 2006“, C. Allison Russo, M.P.H. and Roxanne M. Andrews, P, December 30, 2014