New Report Finds Hospitals Choose Not To Adopt Life Saving Protocols For Pregnant Women
The maternal mortality in the United States is astronomically higher than other first-world western countries. Despite advances in medicine, the U.S. is quickly falling behind countries like Great Britain, whose mothers die from childbirth complications at one-third of the rate they do in the U.S. The only exception is the state of California, which has drastically reduced its maternal mortality rate in recent years by implementing various safety procedures and standardizing protocols for pregnant women. USA Today uncovered that hospitals in the rest of the country are reluctant to adopt similar protocols that could prevent complications during pregnancy and save lives.
Understanding The Problem
While many women in the U.S. give birth without suffering complications, over 50,000 women each year suffer severe and life-threatening obstetrical complications. Of these women, about 700 suffer fatal complications. This is particularly tragic considering experts estimate half of these injuries and deaths could be prevented with better care.
One way California hospitals have decreased maternal mortality rates is with the promotion of “tool kits.” These kits contain childbirth safety practices, policies, procedures, and checklists, that when used together can reduce maternal injuries and deaths. These procedures include monitoring and administering blood pressure medication to mothers with high blood pressure and measuring blood loss by weight, not by sight.
Hospitals outside of California can rely on the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM). AIM is a maternal safety and quality improvement initiative that seeks to improve maternal mortality rates by implementing protocols and establishing better standards for care. Unfortunately, participation is only voluntarily and less than half of all birthing hospitals in the United States currently participate.
Complications During Pregnancy
There are a number of complications that can arise during pregnancy, but with proper identification and treatment most can be addressed before they cause serious injuries. Unfortunately, without proper protocols, patients are left voicing their concerns to doctors and nurses that may or may not listen to them. Patients are left to rely on their doctors and healthcare providers for care, but when they aren’t being attentive and negligently fail to provide needed care, women pay the price.
Did You Suffer Complications During Pregnancy?
Not all childbirth complications are due to negligence, but the sad reality is many are. It’s difficult for mothers to find out what actually went wrong and what caused the complications because hospitals don’t want to admit their mistakes. If you or someone you love suffered complications during your pregnancy and/or delivery at a Philadelphia hospital, don’t wait to contact Lopez McHugh LLP. We can request medical records and work with trusted, non-affiliated medical professionals to uncover negligence and hold the negligent healthcare providers responsible. Call us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.