Maternal deaths are a cause of concern for medical experts, in part because the maternal death rate across the country is increasing. Today’s maternal death rate is more than double what it was two and a half decades ago, despite the fact that medical technology has improved in that time. Experts are also concerned because maternal deaths are often preventable, affect some groups more than others, and are underestimated.
In fact, the US is currently near the bottom of the list of developed countries when it comes to maternal deaths. Even more worrisome, the situation appears to be worsening rather than improving. In 1987, maternal death rates in the nation were 7.2 fatalities per 100,000 live births – the lowest rate the US had ever seen. Even though medical technology has continued to improve, however, the most recent numbers show that maternal death rates are about 15 per 100,000 live births. In the past ten years, severe complications during delivery and post deliver have doubled and situations where a mother nearly dies in childbirth have increased 27%, according to a 2012 federal paper. About 34,000 mothers each year have this sort of “near miss experience” and another 700 across the country die of complications during labor and childbirth or shortly thereafter. Another 52,000 mothers experience life-threatening medical emergencies such as strokes, aneurysms, cardiac events, shock, renal failure, and other problems.
According to some experts, the reasons that maternal death and injury rates are increasing is because of the prevalence of cardiac disease, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure among expectant mothers. In addition, fertility treatment advances mean more multiple births and more women having children later in life, which can also contribute to complications. Today, many maternal deaths are caused by issues with blood vessels and the heart, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 1987, many maternal deaths were related to hemorrhage. This shift may be due to an increased instance of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other issues among expectant mothers. In addition, C-sections are more common today, which can also lead to complications during and after labor and delivery.
Some experts believe that medical researchers and facilities have focused on child welfare in delivery and birth, without doing more to ensure the safety of mothers. Despite these issues, however, many doctors agree that many maternal injuries and birth injuries can be prevented with high quality medical care and maternal lifestyle and health changes.
Statistics such as these suggest that birth injury in North Miami and other communities is a growing concern for families – especially when it comes to maternal health. Since many experts believe that many of these injuries are preventable, in most cases families who have been affected by birth injury may have more legal options than they may realize. Families who have been affected by birth injury may be able to pursue a medical malpractice claim in North Miami, for example. For details, consult with a personal injury attorney in North Miami or your community.
A birth should be a joyful event for a family. If your family has suffered due to what you believe may have been negligence or recklessness on the part of medical staff or a medical facility, contact the Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation to discuss your concerns with an attorney. You can review your situation and find out what options are available to you.