Birth Asphyxia Caused by Medical Mistakes, According to Norwegian Study

A study published online in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica concludes that birth asphyxia is commonly caused by human error. The study found that birth asphyxia is a preventable medical error in most cases. Substandard care was often the result of human error, which included inadequate fetal monitoring (50 percent); lack of clinical knowledge and skills (14 percent); noncompliance with clinical guidelines (11 percent); failure in referral for senior medical help (10 percent); and drug administration errors (4 percent). System errors, such as poor department organization, lack of guidelines, and time conflicts were registered in only 3 percent of cases. Obstetricians and midwives were held responsible for substandard care in 49 and 46 percent of cases, respectively).