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America's newborn mortality rate tops that of similar countries

Birth injuries and pregnancy-related injuries are often some of the most serious and heart-breaking cases. Birth injuries can cause life-long health problems for Oregon children that require significant medical care. All too often, medical providers make preventable errors that result in permanent disabilities. The most egregious medical mistakes may even result in the wrongful death of a newborn.

Newborns need good medical care before, during and after birth. According to a new report, inexpensive and simple medical care improvements could save the lives of nearly one million newborns each year.

The report was released by an international group called Save the Children. In the report, America is singled out among industrialized countries regarding newborn mortality. It found that the United States has the highest rate of newborns that die during their first day of birth when compared to similar countries. The mortality rate is 2.5 for every 1,000 births. This is higher than the rate in countries such as Canada and Switzerland.

The surprising statistics serve as a reminder of the importance for Oregon parents to know their legal rights if their newborn was injured or passed away due to the negligence of a doctor or nurse. Mistakes such as a failure to perform a cesarean section or recognition of a uterine rupture can have serious and deadly consequences. After picking up the pieces following an unexpected loss, parents should meet with an experienced malpractice attorney. Depending on the circumstances of the case, it may be possible to file a lawsuit and recover monetary compensation for a loss.

Source: The Oregonian, "Improving newborn mortality: report calls for improvements in care," Nick Budnick, May 7, 2013

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