Newborn baby bundled in blankets

Preventing Birth Trauma In Philadelphia Hospitals

Preventable birth traumas in Philadelphia are unfortunate events that can occur during childbirth due to various factors, often involving some form of medical oversight or error. Philadelphia hospitals are increasingly focused on implementing evidence-based practices and protocols designed to minimize the risk of birth trauma, such as thorough prenatal care, skilled birth teams, adherence to safety guidelines, and the incorporation of advanced medical technologies. Furthermore, these hospitals must foster a supportive and responsive environment for expecting mothers, ensure clear communication, and provide personalized care plans. By prioritizing these measures, Philadelphia hospitals aim to enhance the safety and well-being of both mothers and their newborns, significantly reducing the likelihood of birth trauma and promoting a positive birthing experience.

Factors That Could Lead To Birth Traumas

  • Staff Experience and Response Time: Sometimes, the medical staff might need to be more experienced or quick to respond as needed, which could be because of understaffing, lack of proper training, or simply an oversight. If a problem arises during birth, like the baby not getting enough oxygen or the mother bleeding too much, a delay in action or incorrect action can lead to trauma.
  • Equipment and Facility Issues: The hospital or birthing center’s condition and the availability of necessary equipment can significantly affect birth outcomes. If something crucial is missing, not working correctly, or the environment isn’t kept clean and safe, it could lead to complications for both mother and baby.
    In addition, over-reliance on specific equipment, like vacuum extractors or forceps, can lead to physical injuries to the baby, such as bruising, skull fractures, or nerve damage. Incorrect use of medical equipment, or its failure, can result in complications during birth, leading to trauma, which includes everything from improper use of monitors leading to missed distress signals to failures in surgical equipment. Medical professionals aim to balance the use of equipment to support, rather than hinder, the natural birth process, mitigating risks of trauma while enhancing safety and outcomes for both mother and child.
  • Communication Failures: Proper communication among healthcare professionals is crucial during childbirth. Misunderstandings or lack of information can lead to incorrect decisions or delayed treatments, which might result in avoidable traumas. Effective teamwork and communication among all healthcare team members (including doctors, nurses, and midwives) are essential for safe maternity care. 

Ineffective communication can also affect the continuity of care when the hospital staff shift changes. The staff members on the earlier shift must pass on important information about the mother’s and baby’s condition to the incoming team. Any failure in this process can lead to oversights and errors.

Lastly, miscommunication can lead to healthcare providers dispensing incorrect medication to the mother, affecting the baby’s health. Wrong dosages or the wrong medication can potentially lead to adverse reactions or insufficient pain management.

To mitigate these risks, hospitals and healthcare providers work on improving communication strategies, such as implementing standardized protocols and enhancing teamwork through training. Effective communication is crucial in all areas of healthcare but is especially critical during the birthing process, where two lives are at stake.

  • Prenatal Care: The care a mother receives during pregnancy is also vital. Suppose a healthcare provider fails to identify or adequately address potential risk factors like high blood pressure, diabetes, or infections. In that case, it increases the risk of problems during childbirth that could lead to trauma.
  • Ignoring Patient Concerns: Sometimes, the healthcare providers might not take the pregnant person’s concerns seriously or dismiss them too quickly. This inattention can lead to situations where preventable issues are not addressed in time, leading to trauma during birth.


Healthcare quality can vary widely from facility to hospital, and the risks might be higher in overcrowded or underfunded hospitals. Efforts to prevent birth traumas include improving staff training, better hospital policies, increasing access to quality prenatal care, and ensuring good communication between healthcare providers and expecting parents. In the unfortunate event that a birth trauma does result, you may need to consult with an attorney skilled in medical malpractice situations.  Cooper Schall & Levy has experienced, compassionate attorneys who can provide you with guidance if unfortunate circumstances have resulted in a birth trauma in your family.