Medical negligence can sometimes cause irrevocable harms to patients and one such blow can be a stillborn birth injury. It can be a traumatic experience of the highest level to find one’s baby born dead. Though nothing can replace the pain that is suffered from the sight of a stillborn baby, the hospital in question can be sued if the cause of death is medical negligence. A stillborn birth injury claim might not replace the child for the parents, but the institution guilty of negligence is sure to learn a lesson or two in clinical care.
In the UK alone, around half a dozen babies per thousand are born dead. Several stillbirths can be explained medically. Infection, low supply of oxygen and high blood sugar count are among the major reasons for stillbirths. However, these account for only about fifty percent of the deaths. Almost half of infant deaths cannot be explained in medical terms and these deaths occur in conditions otherwise favouring healthy birth.
A lot of research has been going on into the issue for quite some time now. It must however be understood that in a lot of medical cases, the cause of stillbirth cannot be precisely determined. But this is exactly the reason many cases of medical negligence also go unnoticed. After all, just for no reason is Britain among the three countries with the highest stillbirth rates. Here is a quick look at what could be the most common causes of stillbirths.
- Misplaced umbilical cord
The umbilical cord is the medium through which all nourishment is provided to the baby during its nine month stay in the mother’s womb. The cord connects the placenta to the bellybutton of the foetus and the most common complication could be the cord getting muffled around the baby’s neck, resulting in choking. Another case could be the prolapsed umbilical cord in which the cord could slip down the womb before the baby.
Thus, dealing with the umbilical cord demands tremendous precision and care. Any instance of medical negligence here could be fatal.
Infections contribute to around 10 percent of global stillbirths. Bacterial infections that move from the vagina upwards to the uterus (holding the baby) are the commonest forms of infections. Some infections can also be transmitted sexually and it becomes extremely important to use contraceptive measures to avoid them.
- Ø Flu: Flu is one of the commonest kinds of infections that can harm the foetus during pregnancy. Consultants advise the patients to have their flu vaccine regularly, whichever is the pregnancy stage.
- Other Factors
Along with the above listed causes, there are several other factors that increase the risk of stillbirths. Here are a few.
- Ø The risk factor is considerably high when the mother conceives twins.
- Ø Also, repeated pregnancies, especially with not sufficient gaps in between can increase the chances of stillbirths.
- Ø The chances of stillbirth also increase manifold if the baby is not fully grown inside the womb or certain essential organs like the heart or the lungs remain underdeveloped at the time of delivery.
- Ø Practices like smoking, drinking or over-usage of drugs during the pregnancy period can also have a major and sometimes fatal impact on the baby.
However, the parents may seek legal help if the baby is stillborn after six months of pregnancy and sue the medical practitioner or hospital in question for a stillborn birth injury claim.