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Lowering the Cesarean Rate Results in Rise in Birth Trauma

July 26, 2016

If you baby suffered a brain injury at birth due to a long labor at a military hospital, our lawyers can help.

If your baby suffered a brain injury at birth due to a long labor at a military hospital, our lawyers can help.

Brain injury to babies from prolonged labor

For over 60 years, physicians have relied on something called the Friedman Curve to determine when labor was taking too long and cesarean delivery was needed.  In 2014, in an attempt to lower cesarean section rates, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) replaced Friedman’s curve with new labor curve standards which are not supported by the evidence, result in more prolonged labors and significantly increase the risk of birth injury.

Emanuel A. Friedman, M.D., the preeminent physician and researcher who introduced the Friedman Curve in 1955 which then became the gold standard for assessing the normal and abnormal progress of labor, warned:

 “[W]e believe our specialty has too hastily adopted wholly new guidelines for the assessment and management of labor, and has used a reduction in the cesarean rate, rather than optimization of maternal and neonatal outcomes, as the grail to be sought.  The long labors endorsed by the new guidelines  . . .  would result in gratuitous exposure of fetus and mother to potentially injurious forces of labor.   * * * Sobering preliminary data from the study show that while application of the new guidelines reduced the cesarean rate by a few percent.  This was achieved, however, at the expense of a more than 2-fold increase in the frequency of very low Apgar scores.  That is not a trade-off with which we or the women who entrust themselves to our care should be comfortable.”

If you had a very long labor or military doctors at an Army, Navy or Air Force hospital delayed in doing a c-section resulting in injury to you or your baby we can help.  Call the Military Birth Injury Help Line: 1-877-695-8757 (calls answered 24/7), e-mail us at LawHelp@MilitaryMedicalMalpractice.com or fill out the short form on this page.

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