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Lack of oxygen at birth because of human error

Nov. 17, 2013

In the baby malpractice cases that I’ve had over the years, the main issue was that the healthcare providers did not recognize the signs and symptoms that the baby was being deprived of oxygen and in distress. Put in legal terms, the healthcare providers failed to recognize “fetal distress.”

This theory has recently been supported by researchers in Scandinavia after performing a 15 year study. The study noted three reasons for this problem:

  1. Inadequate fetal monitoring;

  2. Lack of clinical skills; and

  3. Failure to get the assistance of senior medical staff members.

    The results of the study showed this:

    That in the compensated cases there were 107 infants who survived, with 96 having neurological injury, and 54 children who died. Human error was the most common cause of birth asphyxia with 50% attributed to inadequate fetal monitoring, 14% lack of clinical knowledge, 11% non-compliance to clinical guidelines, 10% failure to ask for senior medical assistance, and 4% were errors in drug administration. In cases of substandard care, the obstetrician and midwife were documented as the responsible staff at 49% and 46%, respectively.

    In my experience the same is true here. If the medical profession would undertake a legitimate study looking at the hard and fast facts they would see that birth injuries occur because the staff handling the case is not adequately trained, they missed the clear signs of fetal distress and because of these issues didn’t get the assistance of senior staff members.

    If you have any questions about a Stuart-Port St. Lucie medical malpractice matter, give me a call or fill out the internet consultation box on the right.