While we like to believe that our health care system is the best in the world, the harsh reality is that in many respects, the United States lags behind other developed nations in quality of care and other medical standards. Recently, an investigation by USA Today provided another example of this unfortunate truth, finding that death rates for mothers during pregnancy, labor, and delivery in the U.S. were the highest in the developed world.
Childbirth Facts and Statistics
Investigators found that while maternal death and injury rates have dropped in most other developed nations around the world, including Germany, Japan, and France, the death and injury rate in the U.S. has actually risen and now outpaces all other developed countries at 26.4 per 100,000 births in 2015. This translates into more than 50,000 American mothers severely injured and about 700 dying during childbirth every year.
More disturbing is the fact that at least half of maternal deaths and injuries in the U.S. could have been prevented if the mothers had received better care. Investigators concluded that many of these mothers would have lived or emerged uninjured from labor and delivery if only hospitals and healthcare workers had intervened quickly enough when something went wrong. Examples include administering medications earlier and more accurately measuring blood loss during and after delivery – causes that could give rise to a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The study included a review of a half-million pages of internal hospital quality records, interviews with hospital officials across the country, and an examination of the cases of more than 150 women whose deliveries went wrong. In the words of the investigators, this research revealed a “stunning lack of attention to safety recommendations and widespread failure to protect new mothers.”
Maternal Injuries or Death Caused by Medical Malpractice
There are many reasons a mother may suffer injury or die during labor and delivery, some of which are unavoidable but many can be the result of mistakes by doctors, nurses, and other delivery room staff. These include:
- Uterine rupture.
- Vaginal tears.
- Failure to monitor and treat high maternal blood pressure.
- Improperly performed or repaired episiotomy.
- Negligently performed or delayed Caesarean sections.
- Failure to diagnose and treat preeclampsia.
- Improper use of forceps.
- Missing or failing to act on signs of severe complications during pregnancy and after delivery.
Speak With a Michigan Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
When new mothers needlessly suffer or pass away because doctors and other health care professionals negligently fail to follow the proper standards of care, the medical malpractice attorneys at Sommers Schwartz stand ready to hold them accountable.
We work closely with patients and their families to obtain compensation for injuries and losses caused by all forms of medical negligence. Our seasoned team of lawyers, nurses, and experts will investigate your claim and determine the course of action to obtain the best possible outcome.
Please contact Sommers Schwartz today for a free consultation to review your case.