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What to Consider When Choosing a Hospital to Give Birth

Start your selection process early to ensure the best chances of a safe delivery

There were more than 3.9 million births in the U.S. in 2013 alone. That means there’s a baby born about every seven seconds! More than 98 percent of these babies are delivered in a hospital. Deciding where to deliver your baby is a big part of choosing your obstetrician or midwife as well, as doctors and midwives typically have admitting privileges at specific hospitals.

Delivery errors that hurt mom and baby

So, let’s identify some delivery room mistakes we’ve seen that have harmful consequences for moms and babies. Our goal is not to scare you here. We just want you to be aware of the potential hazards so you know what to avoid when reviewing hospitals.

For your health and the health of your newborn, look for a hospital that is highly responsive to the needs of a laboring mother and recognizes the importance of ongoing monitoring, safety concerns and excellent communication between you, the staff and your doctor or midwife. When patient safety is the hospital’s number one priority for everyone involved, these types of errors are far less common.


While researching hospitals, you need measuring tools with which to compare, contrast and analyze. The following are helpful sites and organizations which track and report on this data.

Caesarean deliveries

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 32.7 percent of the babies born in the U.S. in 2013 were delivered by Cesarean (C-section). And in 2012, 19.8 percent of Ohio deliveries were by C-section. With such a large sampling, your consideration of hospitals for delivery must include a review of each facility’s C-section rates and their associated safety records. Turn to reliable resources to check on this data. Compare each hospital’s C-section rates to the national and state average, and to each other. Also, look specifically at the rates of errors and complications resulting from C-sections at the hospitals you are considering. Don’t forget to ask what the C-section rate is for your own obstetrician.

Hospital Safety Records

The Journal of Patient Safety estimates that up to 440,000 patients die each year as a result of preventable mistakes, making medical errors the third leading cause of fatality in the U.S. The CDC reported that 1 out of 25 patients suffer hospital-acquired infections, and about 99,000 of them die each year from their HAI. Therefore, in addition to a hospital’s C-section rates and risks, you want to check on the following important criteria as well.

Give your child the best possible start in life. Choose a hospital that will make you feel safe when it’s time to deliver, through comprehensive analysis and detailed comparisons.

At the Eisen Law Firm, our Ohio birth injury attorneys concentrate exclusively on medical malpractice claims. We’ve been at this for a very long time, and we understand the risks to and safety concerns of mothers for themselves and their babies during labor and delivery. Contact us at 216-687-0900 or online if you believe you have suffered substantial harm at a medical facility.