Is it Safe to Give Birth in a U.S. Hospital?
The United States is consistently recognized as the most wealthy, powerful nation in the world. As a leader in technology and innovation, the U.S. has produced breakthroughs and advancements in modern medicine that others in the developed world hope to access. Despite these realities, a recent investigation by USA Today revealed that the U.S. has the highest rate of maternal injury and death among developed nations.
Although other countries such as Germany, France, and Japan have been able to lower their maternal injury and death numbers, the United States has seen an uncharacteristic increase in these rates. According to USA Today, every year approximately 50,000 mothers sustain severe injuries during labor and delivery, 700 of whom ultimately die. In 2015, estimates for maternal injuries or deaths hovered around 26.4 per 100,000 live births in the U.S.
The most striking finding: at least half of the maternal deaths were preventable and at least half of the injuries could have been minimized or avoided entirely had the mothers received proper medical care. The USA Today investigation also uncovered that hospitals and the medical professionals they employ are failing to take timely action when complications arise.
Being the victim of any injury in the medical setting can be catastrophic, but the idea that one’s injury or complications could have been prevented is even more tragic. For pregnant women and mothers who have already given birth, there are resources and remedies available if you suffer preventable harm. To find out more about childbirth related injuries and your legal options, contact our experienced New Jersey birth malpractice attorneys at 866-708-8617. Consultations are always provided free of charge.
The Leading Causes of Maternal Injuries and Deaths in Childbirth
The two primary causes of maternal injuries and deaths in the U.S. are hypertension and hemorrhaging, according to USA Today. Gestational hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, occurs when a woman experiences high blood pressure during pregnancy. In some cases, pregnancy-induced hypertension is a precursor for preeclampsia, another dangerous medical condition affecting pregnant women. Hypertension is defined as blood pressure greater than 140/90 mm Hg. According to USA Today, 60 percent of mother’s who died during labor or delivery as a result of hypertension had blood pressure above 160/110.
The second major cause of serious injuries and deaths among mothers in childbirth is hemorrhaging, or extreme blood loss. USA Today found that 90 percent of deaths caused by hemorrhaging could have been prevented if medical intervention had occurred sooner.
Shockingly, the medical community has established standard protocols for managing hypertension during labor and delivery. However, a miniscule 31 hospitals reported following the standard course of action and only 9 reported monitoring healthcare providers adherence to the protocol.
As it stands, there are few regulations or oversight committees who actively track or require hospitals to implement standard procedures that could save mothers’ lives.
Are Hospitals in New Jersey Safe for Delivering my Child?
If you plan to give birth in a New Jersey hospital or have previously suffered injuries during labor and delivery in a hospital in New Jersey, it is important to understand the numbers that apply to your state. According to the USA Today report:
- There were 102,647 births in New Jersey in 2016
- The maternal death rate was 36.3 per 100,000 birth from 2012 to 2016
- In terms of the death rate, New Jersey ranked #5 out of 47
- The harm rate among mothers was 162.5 injuries per 10,000 deliveries between January and September of 2015
- New Jersey ranked #10 out of 47 for rate of maternal harm
Injured during Childbirth in New Jersey?
The birth of your child is unquestionably one of the most miraculous experiences of your life. However, the medical professionals you trust to safely facilitate this process can and do fail, often with devastating consequences. If you suffered complications or injuries during the labor and delivery process in New Jersey, you need to know your rights under the law. You deserve answers from an experienced attorney who can listen to your unique situation and if possible, fight for just compensation on your behalf. Our New Jersey legal team is thoroughly prepared to provide you with the answers you need. Simply call 866-708-8617 or complete our online form to arrange your free consultation.
Hospitals know how to protect mothers. They just aren’t doing it, USA Today
U.S. Hospitals Do Little to Protect Mothers During Birth, US News & World Report
Gestational Hypertension: Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH), American Pregnancy Association