Study Shows Birth Injury Rates Decline When Certain Policies Are Followed

January 17, 2013

A new study from the Premier Perinatal Safety Initiative (PPSI) found that birth injuries occurring in children and mothers were significantly reduced when medical staff follows certain protocols in the perinatal setting.

According to American Medical News, the report examined data collected over a two-year time period at 14 different hospitals in 12 states about the effect of “care bundles” used to reduce harm in new mothers and newborns. These “care bundles” are a checklist of standards that must be met before administering certain drugs or performing certain procedures. They include making sure an unborn child meets a certain age, weight, and is taking in specific levels of oxygen before medications like oxytocin or management of tachysystole is administered. Furthermore, all other options are to be weighed before vacuum extraction is performed.

The results showed following these protocols reduced instances of birth hypoxia and asphyxiation by as much as 25 percent, a decline in post-partum hemorrhaging of 5.4 percent, and a 15 percent decrease in anesthesia complications.

These reductions also led to a dramatic decrease in liability claims associated with birth injuries. Facilities under the initiatives saw a 39 percent drop in claims compared to the ten percent decline recorded at non-participating facilities.

The Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyers with Lundy Law recognize the life-long impacts that are often associated with birth injuries and are hopeful the study will be used to promote safer procedures and policies to be followed by medical staff during childbirth.