When something goes wrong during childbirth, both the baby and the mother’s lives could be at stake. Unfortunately, emergency situations may not be treated or recognized in a timely manner, causing mothers to suffer life-long complications or even die. According to an analysis by USA Today, one in eight hospitals in the U.S. have complication rates twice the norm for labor and delivery. This is a serious issue affecting mothers in Texas and across the nation.
For example, one woman in a neighboring state had her blood pressure spike several times before suffering a fatal stroke. The physicians at the hospital seemed to be in no hurry to treat her high blood pressure. In another instant, a woman had a cesarean section performed by three physicians who were still in training. She hemorrhaged and nearly bled to death in the incident.
Hospitals like to blame the mother’s poverty, pre-existing conditions and other issues they have no control over for maternal deaths. But, USA Today examined the billing records from seven million births in 13 states and found that at least 120 of the hospitals studied had high rates of complications for mothers during and after childbirth.
Women at these hospitals were twice as apt to need a blood transfusion or hysterectomy. Women also suffered seizures, strokes and heart attacks following childbirth. In fact, over 50,000 women are injured in childbirth, and 700 women die each year in the process. Some studies note that 50 percent of maternal deaths and severe injuries were preventable or could have been reduced.
It is shocking that the U.S. has such a high rate of maternal injury and death in childbirth. Doctor’s errors and nurse’s mistakes can all lead to obstetrical complications, injuries, infection, permanent injury or even death. When birth injuries occur, it is important to hold the right parties responsible. A medical malpractice claim can address the damages mothers experience in such situations. Medical malpractice claims are based on negligence — that is, whether the doctor deviated from the standard duty of care expected in that situation. However, medical malpractice claims can be complex, often necessitating expert witnesses. The information in this post is not legal advice, so those who need more guidance on this topic should seek the counsel of a professional.