March 17, 2012

Editorial Makes Case For Hospital Births

by Levin & Perconti

Many mothers and their families have discussions about where they would like to give birth. Perhaps for most community members, giving birth in a hospital is the easy option. However, our Chicago birth injury attorneys appreciate that there are some families who are interested in exploring other options, including births at home with a qualified midwife. There is no easy answer that works for all families, because the decision is an inherently personal one. Various studies have seemed to suggest that birth injuries may be more common in at-home births, but those findings have been challenged by some.

No matter what one decides, the law is clear in noting that those who help in the process—midwives, doctors, nurses, and others—are held to reasonable standards of care. When they violate those standards leading to a birth injury that could have been prevented, then the involved families can file and Illinois birth injury lawsuit and seek compensation for the harm causes. The possible injuries are the same whether the birth occurs, in the hospital or somewhere else, including things like cerebral palsy, brachial plexus injuries, shoulder dystocia, and more.

Regardless of the potential for harm in either location, debate still rages over what is the most appropriate birthing spot. For example, an article was published this week in The Atlantic that suggests that mothers should always have their children in hospitals. The argument was made by an obstetrician who specializes in high-risk pregnancies and the author of the new book “Fragile Beginnings” that we wrote about earlier this week.

The doctor admits that some families have become attracted to the “home birth” movement. He counters that evidence suggests that children born at home are three times more likely to die than those born in the hospital. However, home births are also less likely to result in medical interventions like C-sections.

At the end of the day, this particular doctor suggests that the potential for complications and the easy access to emergency equipment make hospital births far safer and the right choice for most mothers.

For example, he shared one recent story about a mother who at first did not want extensive medical intervention. She opted to have birth with a midwife at home. The birth began and the midwife tried to keep the mother calm. When the cervix was fully dilated, the mother began to push. The doctor explains that this part of the process should only last about two hours. However, in this case, the midwife allowed the pushing to continue for more than eight hours before calling 9-11 and getting emergency help.

The woman was brought to the doctor who immediately needed to strengthen her uterus among many other interventions. He admitted that he could have told the woman that a C-section was necessary, but he knew that it was the last thing she wanted. Eventually, as the baby’s heart rate began to drop, a vacuum extraction device was used to get the baby out. Fortunately, the child was healthy. However, the doctor reminded readers that the condition could have been much worse, particularly if the hospital not be on the ready.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

Dramatic Rise in Cesarean Births

Report Finds Recent Rise in C-Section Births