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When is a stillbirth the result of medical negligence?

Every year, numerous families in Oregon and elsewhere are affected by stillbirths. Mothers can do everything right, take every possible precaution to protect their unborn children, but some things they can’t see on their own. Women depend on medical providers to monitor their pregnancies closely and take swift action if any problems are noted. When health care providers fail to diagnose or treat certain issues in a timely manner, stillbirths that occur may be deemed the result of medical negligence.

According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, some stillbirths are the result of one cause while others have multiple contributing factors. Of course, it is not always possible to determine the cause of stillbirth. Researchers who performed a study on this claim they were unable to identify the cause of death in roughly one-quarter of the 500 cases they reviewed.

What are the most common known causes of stillbirths? Researchers have identified several. The most common include:

  • issues with the placenta
  • labor complications
  • infection
  • preeclampsia
  • issues related to the umbilical cord
  • mother’s existing health conditions

Studies say women under great deals of stress are more likely to give birth to stillborns. Women who smoke or use drugs are up to three times more likely to experience stillbirths. Finally, women of color have been found to have more stillbirths.

Some stillbirths are not preventable, such as those related to genetic defects, but many are. Women in Oregon who believe their children died before birth due to medical negligence may be entitled to seek compensation for their losses. Legal counsel can review the details of their cases and help them pursue civil claims against the responsible parties if doing so is deemed appropriate.