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Human error responsible for fetal asphyxia

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP

Expecting a child is an exciting time for parents. The planning and preparation all boils down to that one moment when the phrase ‘it’s time’ sends you rushing to the hospital. For most parents, the excitement felt during the delivery can be exasperating.

Unable to pay attention to almost anything during the process, most parents find it difficult to recall anything from the time they enter the delivery room to the moment they hear the baby’s first cry. For the parents who lose their baby during delivery, identifying the moment when things go terribly wrong can be impossible. When asking your doctor what went wrong doesn’t help, considering human error may be your next step.

What causes birth asphyxia?

According to a 2013 study, human error is the leading contributing factor in birth asphyxia. For those unaware of what birth asphyxia is, it is the medical term for lack of oxygen to a baby during delivery. This lack of oxygen can cause brain damage or even death to a child and happens more often than you may think.

Being one of the most common reasons for brain damage and death among babies, the instances of reported birth asphyxia were investigated and found to be commonly due to human error. Things like inadequate fetal monitoring, non-compliance with guidelines and lack of clinical knowledge were among the leading causes for the errors. As parents look to staff and doctors for explanations to how and why their child died or suffered brain damage, hospitals are not likely to give up information regarding their own negligence.

For parents that have suffered the loss of a child, or whose child suffered brain damage due to fetal asphyxia, speaking to a skilled birth injury attorney may help. With their experience and knowledge, bringing responsible parties to justice is possible.

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