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Birth Injury Statistics: Newborns Sometimes Suffer Life-Threatening Complications

Parents-to-be look forward to the birth of their child. With joy in their hearts, they typically share their good news with family and friends. They discuss their favorite names and prepare the nursery as they get ready for the big day.

But sadly, complications can arise during delivery. What should have been a celebratory moment can turn into a frightening and even traumatic ordeal – sometimes because of a healthcare professional’s negligence.

Fortunately, most deliveries in the United States occur without complications. According to Right Diagnosis, seven out of 1,000 babies born in the U.S. suffer birth injuries. Each year, a total of 28,000 newborns suffer birth injuries. On average, three birth injuries occur every hour.

In New York, there were 4.6 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2016, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The New York number is lower than the national average of 5.9 deaths per 1,000 live births that year.

Common Types of Serious Birth Injuries

Serious injuries such as bone fractures, developmental disorders and neurological disorders are reported in six out of 1,000 births in the United States, according to statistics from Right Diagnosis.

The most common birth injury is cerebral palsy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The condition is caused by a brain injury that occurs before, during or immediately after birth. In a complicated childbirth, the use of forceps and vacuum extractors may cause an injury to the brain. Studies vary, but up to 3.6 out of every 1,000 babies born are diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Here’s a quick glance at other birth injury statistics, according to Right Diagnosis:

  • Seven percent of birth injuries are diagnosed within the baby’s first year.
  • Fourteen percent are NOT diagnosed until the child is in school.
  • Physical birth injuries generally are detected earlier than cognitive or developmental conditions.

According to Right Diagnosis, the type of hospital where a baby is born can affect the risk of birth injury. The rate of birth trauma injuries is greater in a hospital with 300-499 beds (8.57 injuries per 1,000 live births) than it is for a hospital with 500 or more beds (7.1 injuries per 1,000 live births).

About seven babies were injured for every 1,000 births in private not-for-profit hospitals in 2000. By comparison, more than four babies were injured for every 1,000 births in private, for-profit hospitals that same year. For babies born in public hospitals in 2000, about 6 birth injuries per 1,000 births were reported.

The report reveals that boys were more likely to sustain birth injuries than girls. In 2000, there were 6.83 birth injuries for every 1,000 male births in the United States and 5.06 birth injuries for every 1,000 female births.

If your baby suffered a birth injury, you may be entitled to compensation. In Central New York, families affected by birth injuries can turn to an experienced law firm to hold the responsible party accountable: Cherundolo Law Firm, PLLC. Contact us for a free consultation. Call (315) 449-9500 or complete the online contact form.