Maternal Mortality Rate on the Rise in the U.S.

Maternal Mortality Rate on the Rise in the U.S.In a country like the United States, that prides itself on a sophisticated health care system, maternal mortality rates in the U.S. are rising while the numbers are declining in almost everywhere else in the world. A study conducted by the Institute of World Health Metrics and Evaluation reports that there were 28 pregnancy complication or childbirth deaths for every 100,000 births in the United States in 2013. Compared to Canada’s maternal mortality rate of 6.9 deaths per 100,000 births and England’s 8.9 per 100,000 births the U.S rates are incredibly high. Another study, published in the journal, Obstetrics and Gynecology, found that the maternal mortality rate for the U.S. has increased almost 27 percent between the years 2000 and 2014.

Those of us who raise families in D.C. should pay attention to these numbers. Only a few years ago (in 2010, to be exact), the maternal mortality rate in Washington, D.C. was the worst in the country.

Why have maternal mortality rates been rising in the U.S?

Traditionally, the causes of death for women in childbirth included causes such as eclampsia and hemorrhage. However, the recent uptick in maternal deaths seems to be caused by chronic health conditions such as heart problems, hypertension, and diabetes. Obesity among American women may be contributing to the problem as well.

  • The increase in caesarian births also increases the risks of complications and maternal deaths.
  • Older women are giving birth, and they are getting pregnant while dealing with health conditions such as obesity and heart disease.
  • Race-based health disparities also influence rising maternal mortality rates. African-American woman are up to three times more likely to die in childbirth than their white counterparts, and while they do not develop preeclampsia or hemorrhaging in greater numbers, they are far more likely to die from these conditions.

Doctors owe their patients a duty of care to attend to the needs of the mother and the child when a woman is pregnant and in the process of delivery. Despite years of training and decades of experience, doctors and other medical professionals sometimes make mistakes and are negligent in treating a mother when she is giving birth.

Simply because there are complications or death during pregnancy or childbirth it does not mean that it was a case of medical malpractice. However, preventable medical errors that can lead to serious injury and death in mothers and sometimes birth injuries to the child include:

  • Inadequate monitoring
  • Placental abruption
  • Ruptured uterus
  • Cesarean-section errors
  • Infection

Mothers who were seriously injured during childbirth, and loved ones who lost a loved one in pregnancy, labor and delivery have legal options for recovering compensation for your losses. Working with a Washington, D.C. medical malpractice attorney ensures that you have qualified legal representation to protect your interests whether you are pursuing a medical malpractice or a wrongful death claim.

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