New Study Says Birth Injuries Could Cause Secondary Trauma in Health Care Professionals

birth injury research

No one ever wants to be in the position to need a medical malpractice lawyer, let alone a birth injury lawyer, but the unfortunate fact of the matter is that accidents, negligence, and blatant errors happen all the time. Even with all their degrees and experience, even the best health care professionals are not immune to such occurrences. In fact, new birth injury research coming out of Denmark suggests that traumatic childbirth experiences could actually cause serious trauma in the clinician involved too.

Post-traumatic stress disorder has been proven in many cases of traumatic birth experiences when it comes to the child or mother. However, this new birth injury research is one of the first to look at the effects these type of incidents can have on the professionals who are in the room, and who may even be to blame sometimes.

According to GoodTherapy.org, researchers from the University of Southern Denmark surveyed 1,237 Danish midwives and obstetricians. About 85% of them said that they had been present during at least one traumatic childbirth in which either the mother or baby died or suffered serious injuries.

While exactly half (50%) of respondents reported that the experience caused them to contemplate the meaning of life, 87% were shaken up and upset about the incident for a long time after the event and just under half (49%) experienced some level of guilt. In fact, 36% agreed with the statement, “I will always feel some sort of guilt when thinking about the event.”

In the U.S., birth injury research suggests that approximately seven out of every 1,000 babies born will suffer some sort birthing injury. One of the most common according to birth injury rates is the motor disability of cerebral palsy. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in 323 children in the U.S. have cerebral palsy.

While the study authors were quick to point out that more research needed to be done in order to pin down any concrete conclusions, it’s worth keeping in mind that health care professionals are humans just like everyone else. Not only can they experience trauma from events that take place under their watch, but they can also be the ones responsible for it.