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Study Shows More Birth Complications Happen at Night

The time of day that a pregnant women goes into labor is often unpredictable and out of her control, but it might actually make a significant difference in the outcome of the birth. In fact, data shows that the risk of birth complications are higher for deliveries at night than during the day.

A study of more than 700,000 births at all Dutch hospitals between 2000 and 2006 found that infants at smaller community hospitals who were born in the between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. were 32 percent to 47 percent more likely to die than those born during the day. Larger medical centers that typically see more high-risk pregnancies did not see much of a difference between day and evening births (those between 6 p.m. and midnight), but overnight births (those between midnight and 8 a.m) were linked to an increased risk of newborn death as well.

The study's researchers said that their findings were similar when they looked at the risk of all adverse birth outcomes together, and that their findings were in line with other studies as well.

The study's lead researcher Dr. Eric A.P. Steegers, of Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, said that the increased risks of birth injuries and fatalities could be the result of fewer senior staff members - including obstetricians, neonatologists and anesthesiologists - being available during night shifts. This theory is supported by the fact that the researchers found fewer infant deaths and birth complications at community hospitals when senior staff members were present.

Staff fatigue may also be a factor in the increased incidence of nighttime birth complications, since night-shift work has been shown to disrupt the body's natural sleep rhythms.

If you or a loved one suffered a birth injury, the Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish are here to help. We understand that dealing with a birth injury to a child is never easy and always emotional, and we will take the time to discuss your case, assess any possible legal claims, advise you of your rights, and help you determine the best court of action.

Sometimes it can be difficult to know whether your child's medical condition was the result of medical malpractice or not, and our knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyers can help assess whether medical malpractice may have been involved.

The Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish are committed to protecting the public from substandard medical care and helping the victims of medical malpractice obtain full and fair financial compensation for their injuries.

If you think that your child's birth injury may have been the result of a medical negligence, contact the Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible medical malpractice claim.


Steinberg Goodman & Kalish  ( is dedicated to protecting victims and their families.  We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (800) 784-0150 or (312) 782-1386.

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