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Risk of birth injury higher at military hospitals

Kentucky military members may want to look at their health care options when they or their significant others become pregnant. Even though military hospitals assist in the labor and delivery of at least 50,000 babies every year, these babies face double the risk of suffering from a birth injury when compared to civilian hospitals.

Expectant mothers face higher than average rates of complications, including hemorrhaging. If the mother is required to undergo surgery, the risk of harm to herself or her baby is extremely high. In some cases, doctors have performed surgery on the wrong parts of the body, causing the unborn babies to die.

Between 2006 and 2010, the government paid roughly $100 million annually in malpractice claims. This does not include medical malpractice suffered by active duty military personnel, who cannot file malpractice claims against military hospitals. These hospitals are currently under review by the defense secretary to determine if there are any patterns in regards to patient safety and quality of care.

Birth is a natural process that women have endured for centuries. Advances in medical technology over the years have made labor and delivery much easier and safer. Although complications can still occur, they should happen with much less frequency. The rate of birth injury at military hospitals should be cause for concern. These medical facilities should be just as safe as private hospitals.

There are legal remedies for parents whose babies have been injured or killed during delivery by a doctor’s negligence. They can file medical malpractice lawsuits against doctors, surgeons, hospitals and other liable parties and seek financial compensation for damages caused by the negligence.

Source: Source: NewsChannel 3, "Report: Babies born at military hospitals twice as likely to be injured during delivery," Laurie Simmons, July 1, 2014

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