Why So Many American Mothers Are Dying of Treatable Complications
The U.S. Has the Highest Maternal Death Rate in the Developed World
Most women in the United States give birth without experiencing serious complications. However, over 50,000 women experience serious injuries, approximately 700 of whom die during or shortly after labor. In 2015, the country’s rate of maternal deaths per 100,000 births was 26.4. That is nearly 3 times higher than the rate in Germany, which is the next highest-ranking developed nation. Other countries such as Canada and Japan experience a relatively low maternal death rate of about 6 deaths per 100,000 births.
Why is the maternal death rate in the U.S. so much higher?
American Hospitals Are Putting Mothers at Risk
Many of these deaths occur due to preeclampsia and hemorrhaging, all of which are treatable or avoidable when hospitals and physicians abide by widely accepted standards of safety and preparedness.
This begs the question, “Why are so many new mothers dying of treatable and avoidable child birth complications?”
Doctors, hospitals, and medical professionals have the skill, knowledge, and technology to stabilize mothers who experience heavy bleeding or high blood pressure during or after birth. When high blood pressure is accompanied by evidence of other organ system dysfunction, pregnant mothers should be treated for preeclampsia due to the serious risk of seizure, stroke, and injury to the kidneys, liver, lungs, heart, or eyes. Strokes and seizures resulting from high blood pressure can be prevented when doctors and medical facilities remain stocked up on life-saving blood pressure medications, routinely take blood pressure readings from pregnant mothers, and react promptly to elevated blood pressures. Deaths related to hemorrhaging can also be prevented when there are absorbent pads in the delivery room and when hospitals quickly mobilize blood banks and medical care providers in order to counteract the effects of blood loss.
In many cases, injuries and death occur when doctors and hospitals do not properly monitor patients experiencing high blood pressure or hemorrhaging and are ill-prepared for emergencies.
Maternal Harm & Death Rates in Illinois
Unfortunately, Illinois experiences its fair share of undue maternal death. Since 2010, the rate of childbirth in Illinois has fluctuated between 165,000 and 154,000 births per year.
In 2015, approximately 147 out of every 100,000 births resulted in serious maternal harm.
From 2012 to 2016, approximately 15 out of every 100,000 births resulted in maternal death.
The state of Illinois has what is known as a “death review team,” which is tasked with determining the causes of maternal deaths and taking measures to correct existing problems in order to prevent additional future deaths. However, the state continues to experience an unacceptably high maternal death rate and Illinois families suffer devastating loss as a result.
Are You One of the 50,000? We Can Help.
At Beam Legal Team, LLC, we may be able to help you assess your options if your health has suffered due to a doctor or hospital’s unpreparedness to handle your birth-related complications. We may also be able to help if you have lost a loved one during or after childbirth due to medical negligence or unacceptable care.
Our firm is exclusively dedicated to serving those affected by birth injuries. For over 30 years, our Illinois birth injury attorneys have served thousands of individuals and families facing the heart-wrenching consequences of poor care and recklessness by medical professionals and hospitals, and we know what it takes to help you fight for justice. Get in touch with a member of our team right away to receive a consultation.