The Maternal Death Crisis in the United States
In the developed world, the United States tops the list of countries with the highest maternal mortality rates — about 700 deaths per year at a rate of 20.7 deaths per 100,000 births, reports the United Health Foundation.
Not only does the U.S. have the highest rate of pregnancy-related deaths, it is also the only developed nation where the maternal death rate has been increasing. The rate of deaths resulting from pregnancy complications rose by 26 percent from 2000 to 2014. These statistics are staggering to Americans who are under the impression that medical science in the United States is one of the most advanced in the world.
The risks associated with birth are even higher for black mothers. The maternal mortality rate among black women is 47.2 deaths per 100,000 births, compared to a rate of 18.1 deaths per 100,000 births for white women.
Causes of Pregnancy-Related Death
The high rate of maternal deaths in the United States can be attributed to factors such as poverty, lack of health insurance, and limited access to proper prenatal care and maternity wards, especially in rural areas. Sadly, a number of pregnancy deaths are the outcome of neglect and blatant discrimination.
About fifty percent of maternal deaths in the United States are preventable and a result of medical malpractice. The negligence of hospital staff can not only result in direct injury and exacerbated complications, but also simple inattention throughout pregnancy that can cause issues to go unaddressed. It is unfortunately common in many of these cases for nurses and doctors to ignore the concerns of mothers, leading to undiagnosed conditions. Some doctors go as far as refusing treatment to women who they feel are exaggerating their conditions. The immense gap between the maternal death rate among black and white mothers demonstrates the role bias can play when doctors evaluate their patients. Treatable conditions are left ignored, causing issues to worsen and become fatal.
Hemorrhaging (blood loss) and preeclampsia (pregnancy-related high blood pressure) are two of the most common health problems reported by expectant mothers that can become deadly if not examined. These ailments can be easily treated in many cases. Preeclampsia, for example, can be managed with medication when detected early. Unfortunately, a simple solution develops into a need for more complicated operations if patient experiences are disregarded.
Work with Our Ohio Birth Injury Attorneys
Addressing a pregnancy-related death due to the carelessness of medical professionals is a confusing, infuriating, and emotionally distressing experience. The avoidable loss of a loved one has likely left you feeling angry and adrift. We are here to support you through this difficult time and seek the compensation you are rightfully owed for your pain and suffering.
With the help of The Lancione Law Firm, one woman’s family was awarded $3 million after her fatal preeclampsia was unaddressed by medical staff. Our attorneys are armed with medical knowledge and successful litigation experience, establishing The Lancione Law Firm as a trusted name in the defense of those impacted by birth-related injury and death.If your family has been affected by a preventable maternal death caused by medical malpractice during pregnancy, contact The Lancione Law Firm online or call (440) 220-4439 to discuss how our Ohio birth injury lawyers may be able to provide answers and justice during this time.