Despite the fact that it is one of the most developed countries in the nation, the United States has one of the highest rates of infant mortality and one of the highest rates of maternal mortality. To be sure, a global survey reveals that women in the United States are two times as likely as woman in Canada to die from pregnancy-related complications. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that there are over 600 women who die each year in the United States due to pregnancy-related complications, and more than 23,000 infants died in the year 2014 in the U.S. alone. The following considers why rates of maternal mortality and infant mortality are so high, and what to do if medical malpractice is the cause of either.
Why Rates of Infant Death and Maternal Mortality Are Not Lower
In terms of maternal death, there are a number of risk factors that increase a pregnant woman’s risk of death, most of which are preventable or treatable. This include things like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. General poor health habits, like failing to eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight, and exercise also increase the risk of a woman experiencing a fatal birth complication. However, regular checkups and health monitoring can help to ensure that both mom and baby are healthy throughout pregnancy.
Harm to both mothers and babies is also increasing in the United States due to the growing rate of cesarean sections that are performed every year. In fact, almost one-third of all births in the United States are surgical. C-sections put both mother and baby at risk of harm when they are not absolutely necessary. Infant death can also be blamed on maternal complications, pre-term birth, SIDs, and birth injuries.
When Medical Malpractice Leads to Harm
In some cases, maternal or infant mortality may occur due to the negligence of a healthcare provider. Some things that may lead to harm include:
- Denying a patient care or moving them from facility to facility due to insurance complications;
- Failing to properly diagnose a pregnant woman’s condition, such as hypertension;
- Failing to perform an emergency c-section; and
- Failing to safely perform a c-section or vaginal birth.
When Harm Occurs, Take Legal Action
Infant death and maternal mortality are two preventable types of tragedies. When they would not have occurred but for the wrongful acts of a healthcare provider, patients should take action to protect their rights by filing a medical malpractice claim for damages. understand the pain you are suffering through and want to help. For a free case consultation, contact our offices today online or by phone at 617-973-9950.