On the heels of its report revealing that maternal death rates during pregnancy, labor, and delivery in the U.S. were the highest in the developed world, USA Today released another in-depth study about the disturbingly high number of labor and delivery-related complications in our nation’s hospitals.


Like its predecessor, the new report exposes the truth behind the myth that expectant mothers in the U.S. can expect the best medical care in the world. The analysis found that while childbirth complication rates at most U.S. hospitals were less than 1.5 percent, about one in every eight hospitals had a rate of potentially fatal deliveries that were at least twice as high.

Medical Mistakes Are at the Heart of the Problem

Researchers examined billing records from 7 million births in 13 states. They concluded that “[t]he data, medical records and lawsuits suggest a complicated mix of misdiagnoses, delayed care and a failure to follow safety measures.”

As the article notes, the conclusion that medical errors are the primary reasons that the U.S. “is the most dangerous place in the developed world to give birth” stands in stark contrast to the assertions of hospitals. They fault increased maternal deaths and injuries to issues “beyond their control. Almost universally they’ve pointed to poverty and pre-existing medical conditions” as the root of the problem.

The available evidence, as discussed at length in the article, makes it clear that such assertions are mainly a deflection of blame for the negligence of doctors and hospital staff, especially doctors in training who are often responsible for some of the more egregious labor and delivery mistakes.

Maternal Injuries or Death Caused by Medical Mistakes

Examples of avoidable labor and delivery errors cited in the article include situations with mothers who:

  • Didn’t receive immediate intervention for dangerous blood pressure as called for in national treatment guidelines.
  • Almost bled to death after doctors in training performed an emergency C-section.
  • Showed signs of infection which were left untreated, as trainee doctors instead performed tests of questionable merit, all of which resulted in gangrene and the amputation of the mother’s legs and hands.

Speak With a Michigan Labor and Delivery Malpractice Lawyer Today

There are many other reasons a mother may suffer injury or die during labor and delivery. Some arise from medical errors, while others occur because doctors and delivery room personnel fail to follow the appropriate standard of care and fail to timely identify and properly address an existing problem.

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 mothers and their families to obtain the maximum amount of compensation available for injuries and losses caused by all forms of medical negligence, including labor and delivery errors. 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.

Richard D. Fox

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Richard D. Fox

Richard Fox handles personal injury cases, including birth trauma, medical malpractice, and motor vehicle negligence. Throughout his career, which has spanned over 45 years, Rick has successfully represented clients in medical negligence and other personal injury claims.