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Study shows more complications for weekend childbirths

New York parents may be interested to learn about a new study that shows more complications occur when expectant mothers are admitted to the hospital for childbirth during the weekend. The study, which was published in a British medical journal, examined the histories of more than 1 million women admitted to British hospitals over a two-year period.

Researchers discovered that expectant mothers who were admitted to the hospital on Saturdays and Sundays experienced higher rates of maternal infections. They also found that their newborns suffered higher rates of perinatal mortality, childbirth injuries and emergency readmission within three days of their birth. The perinatal mortality rate was 6.5 per 1,000 cases during the week, but it was 7.1 per 1,000 over the weekend. There were 8.2 infections per 1,000 births during the week, but there were 8.7 per 1,000 during weekends. The increases accounted for 770 additional perinatal deaths and 470 additional maternal infections each year. Meanwhile, emergency readmissions also jumped from 11.8 per 1,000 cases during the week to 12.3 per 1,000 cases on Saturdays and Sundays.

The so-called weekend effect has been studied across various health outcomes and medical specialties. The theory hypothesizes that patients admitted to the hospital on weekends face more risks than patients admitted during the week, but studies have had a difficult time nailing down the reasons for the phenomenon. The authors of the British obstetrics study stressed that their findings are observational and cannot be used to assign cause and effect.

A parent whose child suffers a birth injury due to a delivery error may want to speak with a lawyer to determine the options that are available. In some cases, legal counsel may advise filing a medical malpractice lawsuit seeking compensation for the losses that have been and are expected to be sustained.

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