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Who is responsible when a birth injury occurs: mom or hospital?

Bringing a baby into the world, for most parents, is a joyous, albeit stressful, occasion. There is always the hope that labor and delivery will go smoothly, and mom and baby will leave the hospital healthy. Unfortunately, in Louisiana and across the country, numerous moms suffer injuries during the birth process, and some end up dying. A birth injury victim or -- in the event of fatality -- her surviving family members may be entitled to seek compensation for their losses if hospital negligence occurred. Sadly, many hospital administrators are blaming birth injuries on moms rather than taking accountability for their employees' actions.

A recently released article shared numerous stories of women who were injured or lost their lives during or shortly after childbirth. It particularly discussed one hospital in Louisiana, but research has shown that, in roughly one out of every eight hospitals, birth complication rates are far higher than what is seen in other facilities. According to current statistics, in the United States, 700 women die due to childbirth-related complications every year, and another 50,000 suffer injuries. Why is this happening, and can these injuries and deaths be prevented?

Hospitals claim that a number of factors outside of employee actions contribute to birth injuries -- things such as location, race and overall health of the mother. While these factors may contribute to some cases, records show that many women are not provided with the recommended standard care when complications arise -- symptoms go ignored, trainees rather than fully trained staff are left making decisions and wait times to see a doctor are too long. If hospitals, particularly those with high complication rates, would really look at what is going on and make changes to protocols, there is a good chance that fewer women would die or suffer injuries bringing their children into the world.

When a woman suffers a birth injury, it can devastate her and/or her family. When there is evidence to suggest that a mistake was made by medical staff during labor, delivery and recovery, it may be possible for the victim or her surviving family members to seek monetary relief through legal means. An experienced birth injury attorney can help those in Louisiana who think they have a case for compensation by investigating the matter and filing civil claims if deemed appropriate.

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