While a pregnant woman may not be able to control when she goes into labor, the time of day when she delivers may have a significant impact on the outcome of the birth. In a study of over 700,000 births over six years, researchers found that infants born at night had a much higher risk of death or serious injury than those born during the day.
The study, which examined births between 2000 and 2006 at all Dutch hospitals, found that infants born in smaller, community hospitals between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. were 32% to 47% more likely to die than those during the day. Larger hospitals also saw an increase in deaths for the hours between midnight and 8 a.m.
Though the study was conducted in the Netherlands, studies in the United States were similar. Researchers believe that the increased death rate is a result of several factors. First, there are fewer senior staff members available overnight. Research has shown that there are fewer complications and deaths when senior obstetricians, anesthesiologists, and neonatologists are on duty to help with emergency situations. Most specialized, senior doctors no longer have to work the night shift, and mothers who give birth at night may be dealing with more inexperienced staff.
Second, researchers hypothesized that fatigue may play a major role in the increased number of deaths or complications. Night-shift work is difficult for everyone, especially when a nurse or doctor first starts working the overnight hours. Excessive fatigue causes mistakes, which unfortunately affect the mothers who go into labor in the late night or early morning hours.
While it is understandable that senior doctors prefer to work during the day, or that medical staff is fatigued working the night shift, there is no excuse for mistakes or malpractice which injures a mother and child. If you were injured during childbirth, or if your child was injured during the birthing process, you may be able to file a lawsuit seeking damages for your injuries.
At the Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq., we understand that dealing with a birth injury to a child is difficult and a traumatic experience. Sometimes it may be difficult to tell if your child was injured due to malpractice, especially when emotions are running high. As both a doctor and a lawyer, attorney Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., will take the time to discuss your case, assess your possible legal options, and advise you of your rights.
If you think that your child’s birth injury may have been the result of a medical negligence, contact a Los Angeles medical malpractice law firm at Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq. to schedule a free consultation and discuss your claim. Call us at (310) 289-2600 or use our online contact form to have your case reviewed for free.