Patient Safety Topics
:
Newborn Injuries
Overview

Maternity units in healthcare facilities promote close interaction between families and their newborns to encourage the bonding process. However, newborns may be unintentionally injured while in the care of their families soon after birth. Exhausted family members may not contemplate the possibility of a fall, bump to the head, or other injury occurring while their newborn is placed in their care. The challenge for maternity units is to promote a close interaction between families and their newborns while ensuring safety.

Key Data and Statistics

‚ÄčAnalysis revealed that newborn events included falls, bumps to the head while being held or transferred, and events in which the newborn was found unresponsive. Newborn falls were further analyzed and categorized into six types based on the event description (see Figure). Rates and times of falls were also analyzed and compared with the rates and times noted in literature studies.

Figure. Reasons Newborns Fell While under Family Care, July 2004 through December 2013, as Reported to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority (N = 272)

Figure. Reasons Newborns Fell While under Family Care, July 2004 through December 2013 

Educational Tools

Newborn Safety Contract for Parents
Healthcare facilities can adapt this sample information (1 of 2) to communicate facility-specific security and safety measures.

Hospital Safety Information for Parents
Healthcare facilities can adapt this sample information (2 of 2) sheet to communicate facility-specific security and safety measures.

Sleep Safety Crib Card
This ABCs of safe sleep practices can aid healthcare facilities in reinforcing safe sleep practices for newborns.

Newborn Fall UOR Debrief Form
Healthcare facilities can use this sample tool to capture additional details about newborn falls.

Keeping Babies Safe from Falls while in Your Hospital (Clinical Poster)
This poster can help educate healthcare workers about newborn injury prevention methods such as family awareness, staff monitoring, and education for both staff and families.

Keeping Your Baby Safe from Falls while in the Hospital (Consumer Poster)
This poster can help educate patients or family members who are handling a baby to ask for help if they feel tired to reduce the possibility of a newborn fall injury.

Sleeping Mom with Newborn Slipping through the Siderail
This enacted scene shows how a newborn can slip through the opening of the mattress and siderail after the newborn's mother falls asleep.

Multimedia

 


Advisory Articles

 

Safety Tips for Patients

 

©2017 Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority