A recent article in the The Atlantic underscores the need for doctors to follow certain protocols to avoid costly medical errors, including birth injuries. The article examined steps taken since the shocking 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine that concluded 98,000 Americans die each year from preventable medical errors. The recent article focused in particular on one doctor’s approach to end systemic errors in the delivery room. He did this by having doctors and nurses identify problem errors, and included “hospital influencers” in the decision making process. Through his study he was able to come up with standard practices that if doctors and other hospital staff followed, led to reduced errors and fewer birth injuries.
These measures included woman who were undergoing Cesarean Sections to wear inflatable cuffs on their legs to prevent pulmonary embolisms (one of the leading causes of maternal deaths) and establishing a set standard for the administration of oxytocin. He further established a procedure to follow when shoulder dystocia occurs during a delivery. By establishing consistent protocols in the delivery of babies, both mothers and infants had better outcomes.
Unfortunately preventable medical errors still occur. Many times these are the result of doctors, nurses or other medical staff not following established protocols and deviating from the standard of care. When this happens, the medical professional may have committed medical negligence and be found liable for damages. For more information or if you believe that you or a loved one has been harmed by a medical error, please contact the experienced Los Angeles birth injury lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.