Being born is a traumatic experience for children, and the unfortunate reality is that many of them do not make it.
Even among those who do, the next 24 hours are very fragile, and many lives are lost. Some reports put it at 1 million newborns every year when looking at global statistics.
Regardless of the specific total, what is clear is that those first 24 hours bring on a lot of hazards for this new child and his or her family. Children born in the hospital — not all are, with the rise in popularity of home births — are typically kept for at least one night. Many stay for two or three. The hope is that the hospital can monitor them at this crucial time and only send them home with their parents when their odds of survival have increased dramatically. While a few days may not seem like much, it can mean everything to a baby.
Still, hospitals are not perfect. Doctors and nurses make mistakes. They don’t react quickly enough to red flags. They give children the wrong medications or the wrong dosages. They don’t notice that the children suffered injuries during birth, and proper treatment gets delayed. These are just a few of the many things that can lead to the death of a newborn baby even while he or she is still at the medical center.
If this happens to your family, it’s a tragedy that can be hard to get your head around. While financial compensation can never take that away, it may help to cover your costs during a stressful time, so you need to know what options you have.