The United States Leads Developed World in Maternal Deaths During Delivery

The United States Leads Developed World in Maternal Deaths During Delivery

According to a recent study, maternal fatalities in the United States are the highest in the developed world. Statistics show that roughly 700 deaths occur each year, and that about half of these occur due to preventable medical errors. Further, black mothers are at an increased risk – with a mortality rate from 3-4 times higher than average in the United States. Additionally, black infants are more than twice as likely as Caucasian babies to be born prematurely and die.

Preventable errors include taking proper precautions when complications arise, such as performing an emergency cesarean section when a baby exhibits fetal distress while the mother is in labor. Failing to take prompt action can lead to the loss of oxygen and result in permanent brain damage, leading to the potential development of cerebral palsy. Other errors could be failing to be ready to delivery a child in a breech position, pulling too hard when shoulder dystocia occurs, and causing a brachial plexus injury. Further, many times it may be possible to predict that a baby will be born prematurely. Prescribing bed rest, medication or other actions can delay the birth – each day is critical to help the development of a baby’s heart and lungs. The failure to assist mothers at risk for premature delivery can constitute negligence.

While the rate of maternal deaths is concerning across the board, the heightened risks to black mothers is alarming. Many observers cite institutional racism - with 1/3 of black women expressing that they have felt discriminated against by health care professionals. Nearly 1/5 of all African Americans express concern seeing a doctor due to discrimination.

With medical negligence as a leading cause of death in the United States, more effort must be made to avoid preventable medical errors as well as stamping out errors based on racial discrimination. For more information, or if you believe you have endured medical negligence, or your child has sustained a birth injury due to any type of medical error, please contact the compassionate and dedicated California birth injury lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.

Contact Us Today!

All Initial Consultations are Free
    • Please enter your first name.
    • Please enter your last name.
    • Please enter your email address.
      This isn't a valid email address.
    • This isn't a valid phone number.
    • Please make a selection.
    • Please enter a message.