Shocking: U.S. Has Highest Death Rate For New Mothers
When you are in a delivery room anywhere in the United States, you expect to hear the cry of a healthy newborn entering the world. You do not expect to hear the anguished cries of a grieving father who has just lost his partner during childbirth.
Maternal health reformer Elizabeth Howell, who witnessed this particularly heartbreaking scene, notes between 700 and 900 women die from pregnancy-related causes annually in the United States. The nation’s maternal mortality rate is higher than any other high-income country, and worse among women of color (8-12 times higher for black women than white women in New York City, for example).
The rate has increased over the past decade in the U.S., which spends more on health care than any other nation, while maternal mortality rates are declining in other countries.
The major causes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) include:
- Cardiovascular disease - 15.7%
- Hemorrhage - 11%
- Infection and/or sepsis - 12.5%
- Thrombotic pulmonary or similar embolism - 9%
- Hypertension (pre-eclampsia and eclampsia) - 6.9%
- Cardiomyopathy - 11%
The Solution Is Not Complicated
Howell says 60 percent of deaths and severe complications are preventable through technology and knowledge that is already available. The problem, she says, is that hospitals do not share the same standards of care.
“If we raise quality of care universally to what is supposed to be the standard, we could bring the rates of these deaths and severe complications way down,” said Howell.
Howell cites signs of progress, such as the Alliance for Innovation in Maternal Health, which promotes programs to address maternal mortality and morbidity rates. She said media attention also has raised public awareness.
In general, she says the keys are providing women with:
- Safe and reliable contraception
- Preconception care to manage chronic illness and optimize health
- Prenatal and delivery care during pregnancy
- Postpartum and inter-pregnancy care after pregnancy
Protect Your Family’s Future
When the joy of childbirth also becomes an unbearable tragedy, your life changes forever. Not only do you have a new, delicate life to nurture, you also must do so alone if the mother has died. If the mother has suffered catastrophic injuries, the lives of two loved ones depend on you. The financial, emotional and mental burdens can be overwhelming. The hospital is not going to admit any fault, hiding behind attorneys and bureaucrats. An insurance company will pressure you into accepting the lowest settlement possible.
The legal team at Atlanta's dedicated birth injury firm, Tyrone Law Firm, PC, knows what you are going through. Based in Atlanta, we have experience handling cases just like yours throughout Georgia. We understand you feel helpless and hopeless. We provide personal, professional attention. While you focus on your family, we aggressively fight for your rights and fair financial compensation. We collect no fees unless we win your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.