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Medical Malpractice

Maternal Mortality Rates in the U.S. Are Rapidly Increasing

December 2, 2015

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According to a recent CNN report that examined maternal mortality statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 17.8 deaths of mothers per 100,000 live births in the U.S. during 2011— an alarming 147 percent increase from 24 years earlier in which the rate stood at just 7.2 deaths per 100,000 births.Surprisingly, the U.S. is one of only eight countries in which the number of prospective mothers dying during labor and delivery is increasing. Other countries on this list include South Sudan and Afghanistan.So why are so many prospective mothers dying nationwide? Is it simply due to unexpected complications or medical mistakes during childbirth? Possibly, but there may be many other reasons as well, including several offered by the recent CNN report.

Why Childbirth May Be More Dangerous Than You Think

As reported by CNN, a few years ago a group of leading OB/GYN medical providers discussed why New York had an unusually high maternal mortality rate when compared to the rest of the country. One of the main theories offered was that New York City has an immensely diverse population, which may make for more complex cases.The group also discovered that the lack of standardized procedures and treatments across the U.S. might be more to blame, particularly when dealing with obese patients. For instance, in many other countries, prospective mothers have treated the same no matter in what city or hospital they receive medical care. Unfortunately, this is not the case nationwide, especially in New York. In fact, doctors may treat you one way in New York City, another way in Upstate New York, and so on. Truthfully, standardized guidelines and procedures are needed for every state and city to ensure the well-being of prospective mothers.Interestingly, the report noted that the spike in maternal mortality rates may also be due to more women giving birth later in life and an increase in C-section deliveries. In any event, an increase in the maternal mortality rate is unacceptable—especially given the many medical advancements over the years. Hopefully, our healthcare system will learn from its mistakes and make labor and delivery safer for all mothers.If your loved one died in childbirth, you may want a lawyer's advice. We invite you to contact our New York law office so that we can answer your questions.