High Rate of Maternal Deaths in the United StatesApril 9, 2019
In the United States, the number of maternal deaths in hospitals across the country has been growing at an alarming rate. For women with pre-existing conditions, or who are at or below the poverty level, America is the most dangerous place to give birth compared to other developed countries. A USA Today report found that one in eight hospitals in the United States have complication rates that are over double the norm. The report showed that many of these fatalities were caused by a combination of misdiagnoses, delayed diagnoses, and a failure to follow accepted safety protocols. Oftentimes, however, the hospitals refuse to take responsibility, and instead place blame on the mothers.
Examples of Childbirth Gone Wrong
After delivering her baby at the Touro Infirmary in New Orleans, the new mother started to experience severe headaches and high blood pressure. According to the medical records, no healthcare provider responded to these symptoms. Instead, they gave her painkillers and an ice pack. A doctor in training was assigned to her case, but made it clear that she was in no rush to examine her because she had other patients. Within hours, the mother died from a massive stroke.
Another patient at the same hospital developed an infection after delivering a stillborn baby. The patient alleged that her healthcare providers failed to diagnose her infection in time, which delayed the treatment. As a result, the infection spread, and she developed sepsis and gangrene. Doctors had to amputate both of her legs, as well as her right hand and most of the fingers on her left hand.
Doctor Trainees Accused in Patient Lawsuits
Four lawsuits have accused doctor trainees at Touro of medical mistakes, including a failure to order necessary tests, a failure to recognize serious complications that began to appear, and surgical or medication errors. According to the USA Today report, 56 out of the 120 high-complication hospitals that were identified in the study are teaching hospitals that have OB/GYN residency programs. Twenty-two of those have accreditation histories that include warnings or probations.
Healthcare officials have said that the high complication rate is due to poverty and maternity patients with medical problems, and not their residency programs. However, other hospitals, including Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, are also surrounded by poverty, yet they do not have the high rate of complications. According to the chairman of Mercy’s OB/GYN department, this may be due to the fact a physician from the two big OB/GYN doctor groups must be on-call 24/7, or that the hospital is run by a Catholic religious organization that has a strong social justice mission. All patients should receive the same level of care, regardless of their economic status.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Victims of Medical Errors
If you experienced complications during childbirth, you are urged to contact the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton at your earliest convenience. We will work tirelessly to protect your rights and hold the negligent party responsible. We will secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent medical malpractice victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.