Uptick in Maternal Fatalities During Child Birth Raises Concern

Uptick in Maternal Fatalities During Child Birth Raises Concern

According to numerous recent reports, maternal mortalities (fatalities that occur during childbirth) in the United States have skyrocketed. In fact, statistics show that in the last 20 years, deaths have more than doubled. The numbers show that nearly 700 women die each year, and another 50,000 suffer serious personal injuries during child birth. While hospitals are often quick to blame mothers for the death - pinning a poor result on pre-existing conditions or the failure to seek prenatal care - the answer is more complex.

Many factors that hospitals may be able to control, such as the incidence of surgical deliveries, and the training of staff at the hospital you deliver may play a role. The combination of delayed care, misdiagnoses, and the failure to follow certain safety protocols all increase the likelihood of a fatality occurring. A recent USA Today report indicates that specific hospitals have higher rates of complications and deaths than others. The study's authors believe that the number of injuries and fatalities could be cut in half if the most dangerous hospitals improved their safety record. In fact, the reporting shows that despite expert recommendations to hospitals, doctors and nurses regarding suggested protocols when emergencies arise, in 85% of cases, these steps are not followed. For example, two of the leading complications include hemorrhaging and hyper-tension, which are generally preventable. However unfortunately, according to USA Today, medical staff often fails to follow "best practices" when complications from these conditions occur. Further evidence shows that patients are not treated equally across the board. Some hospitals do a better job at treating emergency conditions.

If you believe that you or someone you love has been injured due to a preventable labor and delivery issue, you can get help. It is important to reach out to a skilled California birth injury attorney who can conduct an in-depth review of the circumstances surrounding the matter. A knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney can order medical records and begin a review of the case and help make a determination if negligence occurred. For more information, please contact our dedicated California medical malpractice team at Bostwick & Peterson for an immediate, confidential consultation.


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