5 Common Causes of Maternal Death in the United States

We have been serving families as New York birth injury lawyers for more than 40 years, and during that time we have seen the aftermaths of many tragic situations.  When people think of birth injuries, they tend to visualize harm that’s done to the infants because of mistakes that are made by medical professionals during the delivery process.  While this does represent a majority of claims that are filed in response to these incidents, we should not overlook the fact that mothers also face a high level of risk when they are giving birth and that they too need to be monitored closely to minimize the chance that something will go terribly wrong that could have been avoided.

Sadly, that does not always appear to be what’s happening.  Amnesty International studied the issue of maternal injuries during birth closely a few years ago and published findings that in general were not complimentary of the American healthcare system when it comes to giving birth.  A link to the full study can be found here, but below are five common causes of maternal death in the United States as discovered by the researchers.

  1. Embolism – 20 percent

An embolism is a blood clot that severely restricts or even prevents the flow of blood through a vessel.  A common form of this problem is a pulmonary embolism, which occurs in a person’s lungs.  20 percent of the maternal deaths reviewed by the researchers involved this complication.

  1. Hemorrhage – 17 percent

Anyone who has ever been through or even seen a live birth understands that there is a lot of blood involved.  However, doctors need to watch for the loss of too much blood because of internal bleeding, as this complication led to the deaths of 17 percent of the mothers studied.

  1. Pre-eclampsia and Eclampsia – 16 percent

High blood pressure is relatively common for pregnant women, and if this high blood pressure is not promptly recognized and treated, it can lead to serious problems during the delivery process.  16 percent of women studied died from this complication.

  1. Infection – 13 percent

Infants are obviously extremely vulnerable while they are in the process of being born, but mothers are also more at-risk for health problems during this time.  Infections can arise in a number of ways and they can actually be deadly during birth.

  1. Cardiomyopathy – 8 percent

Clearly, birth is a very strenuous process for mothers.  Heart health is obviously important for anyone who will be enduring an extreme level of exertion.  When a mother has problems with her heart muscles and these problems are not properly managed, grave danger can be the result.

Expecting parents need to be proactive as they prepare for a birth.  They need to ask questions if they are unsure about anything and they need to remember that this is their child.  If you or someone you love has suffered because of medical negligence that occurred in relation to the birth of a child, contact Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald today to schedule a free initial consultation.