For many people, a birth injury involves the harming of a child during delivery, but in these situations, mothers are often in danger too. Maternal mortality has risen so much in the United States that pregnant women are around 50 percent more likely to die during childbirth than their mothers were. (AP News) Worse yet, new studies say that many of these deaths are preventable, and that has our San Francisco birth injury law firm concerned.
U.S. Maternal Mortality Rates Are Climbing Fast
Approximately 700 women die each year in our country due to birth injury complications. When compared to other developed nations, that number is shocking. According to one 2017 study, France experiences 7.8 deaths per 100,000 live births. In England, that number is around 8.8 deaths, and in Canada, that number drops to 7.3. Here in the U.S., 26.4 women die for every 100,000 births. The World Health Organization claims that the global maternal mortality rate fell 44 percent from 1990 to 2015. The rate in the U.S. rose nearly 42 percent over 25 years. So, what is going on, and how can we reverse this disturbing trend?
Why Is Maternal Mortality so High in the US?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on May 7 studying the risks of death during childbirth. It found that out of every five pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S., three were preventable. Stroke, cardiomyopathy and other heart diseases were the most common causes of death noted by the CDC. However, doctors can spot and treat these conditions early, which is why federal officials claim 60 percent of these maternal deaths are preventable. Federal officials say that delayed and missed diagnoses contribute to many of these missed conditions.
When tennis star Serena Williams underwent an emergency C-section, she almost became a victim of delayed diagnosis. In an interview with CBS Sports, Williams told reporters that she was having shortness of breath after delivering her baby. Having a history of blood clots, Williams was afraid she was having a pulmonary embolism. She notified a nurse who thought Williams was having a reaction to her pain meds and dismissed her claims. However, Williams insisted on having a CT scan, which allowed doctors to detect blood clots, treat them and save Williams’ life.
How Can Birth Injury Lawsuits Help?
When a doctor listens carefully to a patient, he or she can recognize the symptoms of these treatable complications. This is why the CDC included guidelines in its May 7 report to help doctors and hospitals improve their maternity care. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also created new guidelines to help doctors recognize the risk factors that lead to maternal deaths.
Such efforts can save lives but neglecting patient care can lead to both injury and wrongful death. Filing a lawsuit can also bring attention to these failings and help medical institutions establish procedures to ensure that these medical mistakes don’t happen again.
At Mitchell Leeds, LLP, our San Francisco birth injury attorney is ready to make a stand for you. We understand the stress and difficulties families go through when faced with a birth injury. Our guidance and support helps our clients receive compensation for the pain and injuries they have suffered. Contact our team if your doctor ignored the warning signs of a preventable childbirth complication.