A new report shows babies that are born at a military hospital are twice as likely to be injured during delivery.
An investigation by the New York Times uncovered Pentagon statistics that show military hospitals, compared to hospitals, had higher rates of harm and complications when it came to maternity care and surgery.
The investigation also showed that mothers who delivered at military hospitals were more likely to hemorrhage after childbirth than mothers who delivered at civilian hospitals.
According to the New York Times, mother Stephanie King filed a malpractice claim against Reynolds Army Community Hospital in Ft. Sill after a resident in the maternity ward refused to admit her.
King was allegedly turned away because her cervix was not sufficiently dilated. She returned to the maternity ward two hours later and nurses realized she was about to have her baby.
When nurses finally read King’s file, they found she carried a strain of group B streptococcus bacteria. If women in labor are not given antibiotics in time, they risk transmitting the infection to their newborns.
When doctors determined King’s son had contracted the infection, they warned her that the only effective medication could cause deafness.
Four months later, the Kings realized their son was profoundly deaf.
The New York Times says the government settled the Kings’ case in 2009 for $300,000.
Military hospitals reportedly paid an average of $100 million in malpractice claims each year from 2006-2010.
According to WTKR, those claims do not tell the whole story, because active duty service members who use military hospitals are not allowed to sue for malpractice.