Why Are Infant Mortality Rates Rising in the United States?

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Why Are Infant Mortality Rates Rising in the United States?


  • The U.S. is the only developed country in the world with a rising infant (and maternal) mortality rate. And the rate of Indiana infants dying before their first birthday has risen steadily over the past five years, making the Hoosier state home to one of the highest rates of infant mortality in the nation.
  • While other developed countries are working to reduce birth injuries and avoid unnecessary interventions that cause complications, the U.S. is still relying on practices to deliver babies which often cause far more harm than good.
  • The facts of cases involving birth injuries to a baby can differ greatly, but most situations involve one of two general scenarios: either the doctor’s failure to assess or respond to conditions, or injuries due to prenatal care.
  • Put an end to avoidable birth injuries by spreading the news about prevention techniques, and by helping women speak up for their rights in the delivery room. 

Top Seven Most Common Birth Injuries

The Centers for Disease Control reports that out of every 1,000 infants born in the United States, 6-8 of them are born with a birth injury. There are many different types of birth injuries, and they can vary in terms of intensity and stem from natural causes as well. To show common injuries to infants caused by medical personnel interventions or lack of precaution, take a look at these seven common birth injuries:

  1. Caput succedaneum. Caput is a significant swelling of the soft tissues of the baby’s scalp that develops as the baby travels through the birth canal. Babies delivered by vacuum extraction are more likely to have this condition.
  2. Cephalohematoma is an area of bleeding underneath one of the cranial bones. It often appears several hours after birth as a raised lump on the baby’s head.
  3. Bruising or forceps marks. Some babies may show signs of bruising on the face or head simply as a result of the trauma of passing though the birth canal. Forceps can leave marks or bruises or cuts on the baby’s face and head.
  4. Subconjunctival hemorrhage. Subconjunctival hemorrhage is the breakage of small blood vessels in the eyes of a baby.
  5. Facial paralysis. During labor or birth, pressure on a baby’s face may cause the facial nerve to be injured. This may also occur with the use of forceps for delivery.
  6. Brachial palsy. Brachial palsy is most common when there is difficulty delivering the baby’s shoulder. This is called shoulder dystocia and occurs when the group of nerves that supplies the arms and hands is injured. The baby loses the ability to flex and rotate the arm. Tearing of the nerve may result in permanent nerve damage.
  7. Fracture of the clavicle or collarbone is the most common fracture during labor and delivery. The clavicle may break when there is difficulty delivering the baby’s shoulder or during a breech delivery.

In order to recover for birth injury, parents will likely need to show that medical providers failed to give the mother or the baby adequate medical care or advice during pregnancy and/or delivery.

We Can Handle Your Medical Malpractice Claim

Our attorneys hold the medical profession in high regard, but when a physician or medical staff does not perform up to professional standards, legal accountability becomes necessary. Birth injuries, as well as those related to labor and delivery complications, may qualify you for a medical malpractice claim if there was a chance for an injury to be prevented and in return, death risks or injury outcomes could have been greatly reduced.

If you have a medical claim caused by a birth injury or other birth complication, contact the law firm of Wagner Reese by completing our online form and one of our attorneys will review your information, and respond promptly. If you wish to speak with us today, please call 1-888-710-9377.

About the Author:

In 2007, Jason Reese was name “Forty Under Forty” by the Indianapolis Business Journal as one the most dynamic business and community leaders in the Indianapolis metro area. From 2004-2017, Mr. Reese has been repeatedly named an Indiana Super Lawyer and recognized by attorneys throughout the State as a lawyer in the top 5% of his practice areas as published in Indianapolis Monthly and Super Lawyer magazines. Jason's law expertise are in the areas of personal injury, civil rights, class action litigation and medical malpractice.

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