Over the past few decades, hospitals in New Jersey and across the United States have instituted significant measures to reduce the risk of injury and death to newborns during the delivery process. But many professionals warn that the focus on infants has led to an unacceptable risk to the other party to the process—the birth mother. In fact, statistics show that between 700 and 900 women still die every year giving birth—and that more than 60,000 suffer nearly-fatal consequences.
According to an investigation conducted by NPR’s Morning Edition, that’s three times the maternal mortality rate in Canada and six times that in Scandinavia. In fact, while most other countries in the world have experienced steadily declining maternal mortality rates, the opposite has been true in America. The number of mothers dying in childbirth has gone up for most of the last 15 years, and officials at the Centers for Disease Control Foundation say that more than half are preventable.
The investigation showed that maternal mortality affected women from every race, socioeconomic and educational background, including doctors and nurses. The causes were many, from cardiomyopathy to blood clots, from infections and hemorrhaging to pregnancy-induced hypertension.
Researchers cite a number of reasons for the higher maternal mortality rate in the United States. First, they say, more and more women are having children later in life and often have complex medical histories. The greater frequency with which doctors prescribe C-sections also increased the risk of infection and other life-threatening conditions. In addition, fewer people have access to good health insurance and fewer people get the pre-natal care they need. Finally, because one of every two pregnancies is not planned, other health issues that might increase the likelihood of delivery complications don’t get addressed.
Contact Attorney Howard D. Popper
To learn your options when you have suffered an injury caused by medical carelessness, contact our office online or call attorney Popper at 973-993-8787. We have offices in Morristown and Newton, but will come to your home or the hospital, if necessary. There is no charge for your first consultation.
We handle all medical negligence injury claims on a contingency basis. You won’t be charged any legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.