The United States is the most dangerous place to give birth in the developed world.
At least, that’s according to a new USA Today investigation. Each year across the country, over 50,000 mothers are severely injured during or after childbirth, while roughly 700 die. The investigation, known as “Deadly Deliveries,” claims that women are dying and suffering life-altering injuries during childbirth because hospitals and medical workers are not properly following safety measures.
Doctors and nurses should be weighing bloody pads before, during and after delivery to track the blood loss of the mother. They should also be giving medication within an hour of spotting dangerously high blood pressure, yet health professionals across the country continue to ignore these simple procedures.
As a result, some women are left to bleed until their organs shut down and suffer strokes because of untreated high blood pressure. They die of preventable blood clots and untreated infections, and even if they survive, they may suffer lifelong consequences such as paralysis and infertility.
The two leading causes of childbirth deaths and injuries are hemorrhages and severe hypertension, the investigation found. These conditions require health care providers to pay close attention to blood pressure and blood loss levels.
The report also breaks down a state-by-state ranking of maternal deaths. In Louisiana, the state with the highest maternal death rate, there were 58.1 deaths per 100,000 births from 2012 to 2016. The next highest, Georgia and Indiana, had 48.4 and 43.6 per 100,000 births, respectively.
The 10 states with the highest maternal death rate include:
- New Jersey
- District of Columbia
- South Carolina
Kentucky came in at 14th on the list, with 22.9 deaths per 100,000 births. Kentucky’s maternal death review board is run by a private medical society and doesn’t issue public reports. The public can get copies of minutes from the group’s meetings, which describe each case without names or locations but with detailed descriptions of what happened. The minutes don’t include recommendations or lessons learned from those cases.
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Brett Oppenheimer is dedicated to serving the community, whether it is through providing passionate legal service or supporting local charities near and dear to his heart. Whether you or a loved one has suffered from a medical professional’s negligence, you can find the legal help you need with our Louisville medical malpractice lawyer. We can help you recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
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