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Hospitals can take steps to reduce childbirth complications

For many Montana parents, a complication during childbirth can be both emotionally and financially draining. A newborn child who suffers complications could experience injuries that require lifetime medical care. In the most severe cases, the child may not survive the delivery. While many hospitals have taken steps to reduce complications, there is still room for improvement. Several hospitals around the country have shown that implementing some basic safety steps can have a substantial impact.

One of the most effective steps is to simply work on communication skills between the childbirth team during a complication. A birth injury can happen quickly and can be very intense, so maintaining effective communication can be key. Some hospitals have used simulations to prepare childbirth staff and to improve communication. Another effective step has been to use something called a bundle, which helps health care and childbirth facilities determine whether they are in compliance with safety standards.

Hospitals have also reduced childbirth complications by exercising greater care with regard to cesarean section procedures. This alternative form of child delivery is fairly common around the country. However, it also brings risks that could expose the mother and the child to greater danger. Experts say there is no standard as to when a C-section should be performed and that usage of the procedure can vary widely depending on the hospital and the doctor.

Children who suffer catastrophic complications during birth may require lengthy and costly health care. If a child should happen to pass away during delivery, the parents and other family members may suffer substantial emotional damage. Families who go through childbirth complications may wish to investigate the cause of the complication and even file suit against the provider for compensation. An experienced malpractice attorney could help them navigate that process and advocate on their behalf in court or in negotiations.

Source: Huffington Post, "Basic Safety Programs Dramatically Cut Tragedies in Childbirth", Taylor Lincoln, March 18, 2015

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