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Why Are Infant Deaths so High in Washington D.C.?

Author: Portner & Shure

Giving birth is a natural process that is typically safe in a hospital setting with medical staff and your OBGYN right there helping you through the process. The mother is at risk of certain complications, but the unborn baby is completely vulnerable during this time. When a doctor or another medical professional act outside of the standard of care when an issue occurs during childbirth, your newborn could suffer the consequences.

There are approximately 530 birth injuries per week in the United States, which comes out to 28,000 newborns who are injured at birth every year, and birth injuries cause 20 percent of infant fatalities.

Birth Injuries & Infant Death in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. has the third highest average rate of infant deaths in the United States with 7.9 newborns dying per 1,000 live births. Mississippi is the worst with 8.8 deaths per 1,000 births, followed by Alabama with 8.5 according to 2011 statistics. These numbers have fluctuated some as infant mortality in the U.S. dropped by 15 percent from 2005 to 2014, but these mortality rates vary by ethnicity also.

The leading causes of infant fatality in the U.S. are:

  • Birth defects.
  • Premature birth.
  • Low birth weight.
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Maternal pregnancy complications.
  • Injuries including suffocation.

The overall average rate of infant deaths has gone down in the last decade, which could be attributed to better sleep practices with infants at home and a heavier focus on maternal education and nutrition. However, the states listed above remain at the top of the list for highest infant deaths.

Types of Birth Injury & Medical Malpractice

Birth injuries range from mild to severe, but diseases such as cerebral palsy (CP) can limit your child’s abilities for their entire life. Many cases of CP can be traced back to medical malpractice or obstetrical malpractice during childbirth when your baby didn’t have enough oxygen and suffered brain damage as a result. Neck and shoulder injuries (brachial plexus injuries) are the most common, which can easily happen if your baby’s neck or arm was forcefully maneuvered during delivery. Those injuries can result in movement disorders that affect your baby’s muscles from the shoulder to the hands. Sometimes medical conditions are unavoidable and can occur regardless of doctor error.

Birth injuries put a massive financial burden on the parents, which is why it’s important to hold those at fault for your child’s injuries responsible for their actions. A medical malpractice settlement often involves compensation for the lifelong impact the birth injury has on your child and your entire family including medical bills, home modifications, physical therapy, and pain and suffering.

Schedule a FREE Birth Injury Case Evaluation with a D.C. Attorney

If you believe your child developed a condition due to a birth injury caused by medical malpractice and negligence, contact our D.C. attorney today at (855) 954-4141​ for a free case evaluation. Portner and Shure serve clients in the D.C. area including Virginia and Maryland.

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