America: The Most Dangerous Place to Give Birth

maternal death during childbirthFor many women and their loved ones, giving childbirth not only evokes an overwhelming feeling of joy and anticipation, but also fear. While bringing new life into the world is truly a miracle, our knowledge and apprehension of the risks effecting both mother and baby can overwhelm us with a feeling of great concern; and rightly so.

According to a 2015 study published The Lancet, America is now the most dangerous place in the developed world to give childbirth. Though maternity mortality is declining in most parts of the world, in the U.S. maternal death during childbirth continues to rise. While Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and the U.K. saw somewhere between 7 and 10 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births from 1990 through 2015, the U.S. rate during the same time increased to 26.4 deaths per 100,000 live births. Countries including France, Germany, and Japan stayed the same or saw a decrease in the number of deaths. Alarmingly, the data points to more than 50,000 mothers suffering from severe injuries during or after childbirth, and approximately 700 mothers dying.

After examining over 500,000 pages of internal hospital quality data and personal reviews, the publication came to the conclusion that it is not the hospitals’ misunderstanding of the safety measures to be taken in order to protect mothers, but rather a lack of follow-through, which fails to protect women. In most cases, these failures could have been prevented: at least 50 percent of maternal deaths are preventable, and 50 percent of injuries can be prevented or reduced should the hospital, doctors, and nurses pay closer attention and follow the proper precautions. Despite their preventable status, still they continue to occur.

There are two common preventable causes of a maternal death during childbirth:

Postpartum Hemorrhage

Postpartum hemorrhage occurs when a woman experiences excessive blood loss of at least 1,000 ml within the first 24 hours of giving childbirth. However, it can occur up to three months postpartum. The riskier time for it to occur is after the placenta is delivered. The doctors and nurses must work diligently to stop the bleeding, but early detection makes a full recovery more likely. Risks of Postpartum Hemorrhage include:

  • Women having certain conditions that affect the placenta including placenta previa, placenta accreta, placental abruption, and a retained placenta.
  • Women with C-Section births or that require the use of general anesthesia (it can increase the risk of bleeding).
  • Induction medications (e.g. Pitocin).
  • Women who experience longer labor (over 14 hours).
  • Women who give birth very quickly.
  • Women who experience tearing (from large babies or those born too quickly through the birth canal).

High Blood Pressure

Pregnant women are susceptible to two types of high blood pressure:

  • Preeclampsia can occur either after week 20 of pregnancy or immediately after the pregnancy itself. Signs include changes in vision, severe headaches, and protein in the urine.
  • Gestational Hypertension occurs after week 20 of pregnancy but should disappear after delivery.

Most maternal deaths reporting is voluntary, not mandatory. This accounts for all women who died during pregnancy or within one year of pregnancy. States report to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System. These deaths continue to steadily increase. The 50 states as well as New York City and Washington D.C. provide both the death certificates of the mothers who pass during childbirth, as well as their associated fetal death certificate. If you have initiated a medical malpractice lawsuit surrounding injuries sustained or maternal death during childbirth due to negligence while giving birth due to negligence, but worry about your ability to keep up with all of your expenses, call USClaims.

At USClaims, we offer pre-settlement funding, if a case is qualified for pre-settlement funding then we would purchase a portion of the proceeds of the anticipated court judgment or settlement for some cash now. USClaims only gets paid if a case is won or has reached a settlement! Apply now or call us today at 1-877-USCLAIMS to learn more.

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