While most parents in New Mexico fondly remember the day their baby was born, that doesn’t mean the day was perfect. Birth trauma and birth injuries are still a major problem in U.S. hospitals, and the experience can be confusing and overwhelming for parents.
Study shows that the problem is increasing
A study published in The Journal of Pediatrics showed that there was an increase in birth trauma and injuries from 2006 to 2014. Researchers looked at data from 982,033 hospital births and found that birth trauma increased by 23%. Scalp injuries accounted for the vast majority of birth traumas, at 80%, and this type of trauma was found to increase morbidity.
Major trauma decreased slightly
Although overall birth injuries and trauma increased significantly over the study period, major birth trauma decreased slightly. Major trauma in hospital births went down from 5.44 to 4.67 per 1,000 births. Researchers say that the decrease in major trauma was thanks to fewer incidents of intracranial hemorrhage, clavicular fractures and brachial plexus injuries. When major trauma occurs during a hospital birth, there is a higher chance of associated problems, including:
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy
- The need for mechanical ventilation
- The need for meconium aspiration
Not all parents know what happened right away
When birth injuries and trauma are caused by medical negligence, hospital staff may not be forthcoming about what happened. Many parents are overwhelmed during hospital births and don’t realize that their child was injured until they begin investigating hospital records later on. Looking into what happened during the birth can be important for helping a child recover and get proper follow-up care.