Despite the various advances made in medicine over the years, maternal deaths in the U.S. are still quite high. In fact, they’ve actually increased: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that from 2006 to 2010, 16 deaths have occurred per 100,000 live births, which is double the number from 23 years ago. As told by Medscape Medical News, the CDC report also pointed out that the majority of these deaths have occurred during delivery, specifically due to obstetric hemorrhage, venous thromboembolism, and pre-pregnancy hypertensive disorders.
While it’s true that pregnancy is potentially dangerous for both mother and child, it’s important to note that many of the conditions and injuries that occur during delivery are preventable. It’s the responsibility of the doctors to ensure that their patients don’t suffer greatly from what is supposed to be one of the happiest and most memorable moments of their lives. If they’ve been lax in their duties, then they can be held accountable for any complication(s) that the mother and/or her baby will experience in the future. Joseph Lichtenstein, a respected birth injury lawyer from New York, has this as his personal advocacy.
Not all birth-related injuries and deaths are caused by negligence, though. For instance, a third of all anesthesia-related complications sustained during delivery occur because of simple miscommunications between the attending obstetrician and anesthesiologist. That said, the lack of negligence won’t protect them from civil action because anesthesia cases typically result in permanent brain damage, physical disability, or worse for newborns.
These aren’t even the most serious cases that lead to infant and/or maternal death. Placenta Previa is one of them, it is a type of hemorrhage caused by the improper placement of the placenta near or on top of the mother’s cervix, rather than away from it. The problem with this condition is that its complications only come after childbirth, usually 28 weeks later, yet it needs to be diagnosed via ultrasound before the baby is born. Placental abruption, or the premature separation of the placenta from the uterine wall, is much worse because it can happen at any time during the pregnancy.
As an unfortunate as it sounds, situations like these are quite common and they explain the importance of working with birth injury lawyers in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Long Island, and elsewhere in New York just in case. Hopefully, future medical advances will make maternal deaths a thing of the past.
(Source: Maternal Mortality Ratio Has Doubled in 23 Years, Medscape Medical News, December 09, 2014)