Though it is a horrible event that can be prevented, some children of families in Illinois suffer birth injuries due to medical malpractice. These injuries can be minor in some cases, but in other situations, birth injuries can be severely disabling and affect children and their parents for the rest of their lives.
When delivering or handling infants, physicians and other hospital staff members must be extremely cautious and take extra care to provide a safe environment. To help decrease the number of birth injuries that occur each year in the U.S., 14 hospitals across the country, including one in Illinois, have taken on a number of perinatal best practices through the Premier Perinatal Safety Initiative. These best practices are said to lower medical costs, reduce injuries by up to 25 percent and prevent trauma.
The PPSI helped train staff in certain care experiences and used simulations to practice communication, how to handle emergency labor situations and how to administer drugs correctly during labor or when attempting to speed up the labor process.
The initiative has been successful so far. The participating hospitals have been reporting fewer incidents of postpartum hemorrhages, birth hypoxia, anesthesia-related issues, asphyxia and other dangerous injuries. In 2009, one health care facility saw 74 fewer maternal injuries and 14 fewer injuries to infants compared to the previous year. Across the board, hospitals using the PPSI best practices have reported that liability claims decreased by 39 percent.
It is estimated that about 30 percent of all birth injuries that occur each year in the country are avoidable. Now, birth injury rates are dropping, to the relief of Illinois families and other families who are giving birth to their children at the hospitals that have implemented the safety initiative’s best practices. With an estimated 4 million births occurring each year in our nation’s hospitals, these best practices could save hundreds, if not thousands of children from suffering minor to fatal birth injuries every year.
Source: Modern Healthcare, “Safety initiative seen curbing birth injuries,” Andis Robeznieks, Dec. 4, 2012
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Birth injuries down thanks to hospitals’ safety initiative plan