INVESTIGATION OF MATERNAL DEATHS AND INJURIES IN THE U.S. YIELDS SHOCKING RESULTS
As medical malpractice attorneys in Indiana, we are very interested in the recent investigation by USA Today of maternal deaths and injuries in hospitals. At Ramey & Hailey Law, we have been protecting patients’ rights for more than forty years, and the data compiled in this investigation is shocking. As USA Today reporter Alison Young puts it, the United States is “the most dangerous place to give birth in the developed world”!
“Hospitals know how to protect mothers. They just aren’t doing it,” the report concludes, because half the maternal deaths and injuries could be prevented or reduced with better medical care.
- Less than 15% of women experiencing childbirth emergencies received timely recommended treatments.
- 90% of hemorrhage deaths and 60% of high blood pressure deaths (two leading killers of new moms) could be prevented.
- Safety data about maternity care is kept secret.
- Hospitals refused to answer questions about adherence to specific safety protocols.
- One in eight hospitals – 120 in all – had rates of childbirth complications double the norm.
- 50,000 U.S. women suffer severe childbirth injuries each year.
USA Today found that, when mothers are injured or die from childbirth, complaints often aren’t filed with the agencies that regulate doctors and other providers, including state health departments and accreditation groups. The reporter urges patients and families to talk to members of Congress and to USAToday itself about their experiences, giving readers the following link: https://www.usatoday.com/series/deadlydeliveries/
There’s someone else to talk to – a personal injury attorney. That’s because only through malpractice litigation can persons injured through negligence receive monetary compensation for their medical costs, their lost earnings, and their “pain and suffering”. Yet only a very small percentage of those many, many women who suffered severe childbirth injuries actually responded by pursuing legal action.
It’s time for hospitals to start protecting mothers!