Birth Injury Facts and Statistics: An Overview

June 25, 2014

While birth injuries are always tragic events, they can be far more heartbreaking when families realize that their newborn’s injuries could have been prevented if not for the negligence of a doctor or another medical professional. The preventable nature of birth injuries may be just as distressful and unsettling as the prevalence of them.

About 80 birth injuries occur every day in the U.S. Here are some more facts and statistics regarding the prevalence of birth injuries in the U.S.

About 80 birth injuries occur every day in the U.S. Here are some more facts and statistics regarding the prevalence of birth injuries in the U.S.

Families whose newborns have suffered birth injuries should know that they can rely on the Portland birth injury lawyers at the Savage Law Firm to help them hold negligent parties responsible – and to get the compensation they need to treat their infants’ injuries in the long term.

The Prevalence of Birth Injuries: A Look at Birth Injury Statistics

The following birth injury statistics have been compiled and reported by various credible institutions, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health:

  • Each year in the U.S., there are about 7 birth injuries for every 1,000 live births.
  • This is equivalent to about 1 in every 9,700 births resulting in a birth injury and to about 28,000 birth injuries occurring each year in the U.S.
  • In other words, this works out to about 2,333 birth injuries occurring each month, nearly 540 birth injuries taking place on a weekly basis, roughly 80 birth injuries happening every day, and about 3 birth injuries occurring each hour.
  • The incidence of birth injuries is higher among male newborns than among female newborns. In fact, male babies are nearly 25 percent more likely to sustain birth injuries than female babies. Researchers have not yet been able to explain why this is the case.
  • There is a greater incidence of birth injuries at public hospitals (as opposed to private hospitals) and at hospitals with more than 100 beds. In fact, as the number of beds in a hospital increases, so too does the likelihood of birth injuries.

Risk Factors for Birth Injuries

While birth injuries can happen in the best hospitals, under top doctors’ care or at any time, there are certain risk factors that can significantly increase the risk that birth injuries will occur. Specifically, some of the most common risk factors for birth injuries include (but are not exclusively limited to):

  • Medical professionals’ being exhausted or overworked due to pulling double shifts
  • Medical professionals being inexperienced or lacking the training necessary to identify some of the warning signs of birth injuries
  • Medical facilities being understaffed (meaning that medical professionals are required to look after more patients and, therefore, may miss important warning signs of birth injuries)
  • Medical professionals misdiagnosing the signs of potential birth injuries
  • Medical professionals misusing certain tools or improperly performing procedures (like, for instance, vacuum extraction)
  • Medical facilities lacking the equipment (or functional equipment) to properly mitigate the risk of birth injuries.

Warning Signs of Birth Injuries

Some of the specific indications that birth injuries may be likely to occur can include (but are not limited to):

  • Signs of maternal distress – These can include elevated heart rates, drops in maternal blood pressure and abnormal bleeding.
  • Signs of fetal distress – These can include changes in babies’ heart rates, decreased movement of babies and issues with the amniotic fluid.


Portland Birth Injury Lawyers at the Savage Law Firm

If your infant has been diagnosed with a birth injury, don’t hesitate to contact the Portland birth injury attorneys at the Savage Law Firm. Since 1977, we have been committed to providing each of our clients with personal attention, respect and the highest quality legal services.

We realize how devastating birth injuries can be for infants and their families, and our lawyers are here to aggressively defend these families’ rights to both justice and compensation. While this means that our Portland birth injury lawyers will work diligently to help our clients tell their stories in court, it also means that our attorneys and dedicated staff will vigorously stand up to insurers and others outside of the courtroom to ensure that our clients are able to obtain the settlements they deserve.

Contact Us Today

Our Portland birth injury attorneys encourage you to learn more about your rights and case by setting up a free initial consult.

To learn more about our legal services and what we can do for you, call us at 503-222-0200 (in Portland) or at 206-957-7272 (in Seattle). You can also email us using the form on this page.

We represent clients in communities in both Oregon and Washington from our offices in Portland and Seattle.

Categories: Birth Injuries, Blog, Malpractice