Birth Injuries

Why Is The Maternal-Mortality Rate So High In The U.S.?

May 29, 2018 by Carrie Capouellez
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Advances in medical technology have made the U.S. a leader in healthcare. Despite these advances, the country has a shockingly high maternal-mortality rate. There are a number of factors contributing to higher American maternal-mortality rates.

The Dangers of Pregnancy

Although most women go through pregnancy without any complications, an estimated 150,000 women in America experience a serious complication or near-death experience. Unfortunately, between 700 and 1,200 women experience fatal pregnancy complications. This might not seem like much, but this represents a higher maternal-mortality rate than many other first world countries like Ireland, the United Kingdom, German, Norway, and Italy, among others.

Racial Bias In Hospitals

In addition to high maternal-mortality rates, there is a racial bias in hospitals that causes maternal-mortality rates for African American women to be even higher. African American women are three times more likely to die or suffer a serious complication from pregnancy than Caucasian women. African American women in America actually have a higher maternal-mortality rate than women in developing areas of Central Europe or Eastern Asia.

According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologyat least 46% of maternal deaths among African American women during or right after pregnancy could have been prevented (versus 33% for Caucasian women). This indicates a clear and systematic dismissal of the symptoms and complaints of African American maternity patients.

Patients Have A Right To Be Heard

Regardless of race, patients have a right to have their concerns heard by their doctor. Inherent bias has cost too many women serious injuries and even death and this is wrong. Doctors have a responsibility to care for patients, but by dismissing their complaints and concerns, they are putting them at a serious risk. Sadly, women going through birth do not have the time to seek a second opinion from another doctor or hospital, which means listening to patients is particularly important during this time because they don’t have any other options.

Maternal Birth Injury Lawyers

Although birth is supposed to be a joyous occasion, for some families it can turn tragic. If you or your loved one suffered a complication while giving birth or shortly thereafter, please call the maternal birth injury lawyers at Lopez McHugh LLP. We can help you get justice and pursue compensation.

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