Severe Birth Complications Becoming More Common In The U.S.

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Although serious childbirth complications are relatively uncommon in the United States, new research says that they increased by 75 percent between 1998 and 2009. This might reflect changing childbirth trends – doctors and medical staff may need to respond appropriately to provide safe care to all mothers.

While the rate of severe birthing complications in the United States has always been thankfully low, this is small consolation to the mothers and families who do experience a serious problem. The rate of complications rose from 129 for every 10,000 hospital child deliveries. Post-delivery complications also became more frequent – rising 114 percent since 1998.

Experts suggest that these increases probably reflect broad changes in the group of women who are giving birth. More women are having children later in life and this can increase the risk of complications. Similarly, higher body weight and other health conditions are involved in more pregnancies now than in 1998.

The combination of this research with the new complication rates might be another reminder that doctors need to be more vigilant when providing care to mothers with risk factors.

For the families who do suffer a lasting injury from a birthing complication, the overall low rate of injuries is irrelevant. Birthing injuries can have particularly devastating consequences for infants, potentially causing brain damage or oxygen starvation-related disorders like cerebral palsy.

No matter the circumstances, parents should consult with a birth injury lawyer if they have suffered from a complicated delivery.

Source: Fox News, “Serious birth complications rising in the US,” Oct. 24, 2012

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