A recent study revealed that maternal mortality rates (deaths during or immediately following child-birth) have spiked in recent years. In the last 20 years, the number of maternal deaths have doubled. As such, the United States is one of the leading countries for maternal deaths in the developed world. Further, it is the only industrialized country where the number of deaths has actually gone up over the last several years.
Several factors have been cited as potential causes for the increase, including lack of adequate prenatal care, an increase in Cesarean Sections, and the failure to train/follow proper protocol in emergency birth situations.
Further, the study revealed that the particular hospital where a child is delivered also plays a role, leading to the conclusion that hospital/personal errors may be higher in certain locations, but also that it may be possible to address the issue of maternal deaths by focusing on safety measures and precautions at these hospitals and medical centers.
California, however, has bucked the national trend. In fact, maternal mortality rates have sharply declined over the last several years. This has been due in large part to efforts by the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative, which has developed methods and strategies to improve safety for mothers – both pre- and post-delivery. This includes focusing on ways to deal with some of the more common and potentially life-threatening issues such as hemorrhaging and high blood pressure. By learning how to address these medical concerns in a timely manner, maternal deaths can be decreased. The failure to act within the standard of care may constitute medical malpractice.
For more information or if you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury during the labor and delivery, please contact the experienced Los Angeles medical malpractice lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.