Rise in Maternal Deaths in the United StatesJune 18, 2019
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report that shines a light on the number of women who are dying in this country from health complications associated with pregnancy. According to the report, three out of every five mothers who die during pregnancy or childbirth could have survived had they received the appropriate medical care. The report also found that these preventable fatalities do not just occur during pregnancy or childbirth, but up to a year after giving birth. Officials from the CDC say that health care providers need to be more proactive about identifying and managing certain health risks and ensure that high-risk patients receive the care they need.
While the pregnancy and childbirth process can be unpredictable, and unavoidable complications can arise that are beyond anyone’s control, the CDC reports that over half of all maternal deaths in this country are preventable. Delayed and missed diagnoses, a failure to identify clear warning signs, and a lack of patient access to quality health care make the United States one of the most dangerous countries to give birth. Unfortunately, this is particularly true for women of color, Native Americans, and native Alaskan women. This population is three times more likely to die during pregnancy and childbirth compared to Caucasian women.
According to the director of the CDC’s reproductive health division, quality services, risk awareness, and early diagnoses are critical to preventing the roughly 700 pregnancy-related deaths that occur in the country every year. An additional 50,000 women suffer from a range of serious complications related to childbirth. Too often, doctors place the blame on women for being overweight, too old, or too unhealthy to have safe pregnancies and deliveries that are free of complications.
Most Common Causes of Pregnancy-Related Deaths
Research shows that heart disease and stroke are the most common causes of pregnancy-related deaths. The leading causes of death in women during delivery were hemorrhaging and amniotic fluid embolisms, which occur when amniotic fluid enters the mother’s blood stream. The leading cause of death in women within a year after giving birth is cardiomyopathy, which is a weakened heart muscle.
The CDC’s report urges health care providers to be more proactive about managing patients’ conditions and to help them understand the warnings signs of a potentially serious complication. If more women can identify complications earlier, they can alert their health care professional and prevent the condition from becoming life-threatening. Communities can also help address certain obstacles that some women face by providing transportation and better access to quality health care. Awareness campaigns about the importance of preventative care can also help avoid health-related complications during pregnancy and the delivery process, as well as post-partum.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Victims of Pregnancy-Related Health Complications
If your health or the health of your baby was compromised while under the care of a health care professional, you are urged to contact the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Our dedicated and compassionate legal team will work tirelessly to protect your rights and secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve. We will hold the negligent party responsible for jeopardizing your health in any way. To schedule a free, confidential 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.