When mothers in New York go to the hospital for childbirth, they may expect to receive exceptional care to protect their health and lives during delivery. However, the United States has the highest maternal injury and mortality rate among developed countries. Every year, around 700 mothers die in childbirth and 50,000 mothers suffer severe injuries.
One investigation of these maternal injuries and fatalities found that at least half of all of the deaths could have been avoided and half of the injuries reduced or prevented if a better standard of care was applied. In addition, researchers found that hospitals and healthcare workers may be too slow to intervene in case of serious problems.
This situation is not mirrored around the world as maternal mortality rates continue to drop in countries like Germany, France and Japan. However, there is one exception to the worrying nationwide trend: California’s record. California’s state safety regulations require the use of practices to cut maternal mortality. In the state, maternal deaths have fallen by half even while rates across the country rise.
Researchers said that regulators have refrained from imposing nationwide safety standards that would require hospitals to take further actions to protect mothers’ health and lives. Hospitals are not required to track or report complications in childbirth, even though C-sections must be recorded. The two most common causes of maternal death in childbirth are high blood pressure and hemorrhaging, and researchers found that the vast majority of all fatalities could have been avoided with earlier medical action.
Childbirth can be a precious experience for mother and baby, but it can also be severely dangerous. Mothers who have been injured in childbirth due to a lack of proper care by a hospital or physician may wish to speak to a medical malpractice lawyer. The attorney may advise injured mothers about the potential to pursue a claim.