The Unites States shamefully continues to be the worst country in the developed world for women to give birth. According to a USA Today analysis of birth data, as many as 1 in 8 hospitals in the United States has a fatal maternal complication rate that is at least double the rate for other hospitals.
The Unites States has a poor record on maternal health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2000 and 2014, the rates of maternal deaths for every 100,000 births increased from 18.8 to 23.8 deaths. That was a staggering increase of close to 27 percent. Every year, as any as 50,000 women suffer severe injuries while giving birth, and 700 of those injuries are fatal.
For long, the healthcare sector has blamed a multitude of factors for these high maternal mortality rates. They typically blame the mother’s medical history of hypertension and other health issues, demographics, other pre-existing conditions and a host of other factors.
But the USA Today analysis found that many of these deaths cannot be simply explained away by patient demographics.
At many of the hospitals that USA today found had higher-than-normal complication rates, mothers were dying due to preventable factors that could be easily identified and managed. Some of these hospitals were frequented by women belonging to lower socioeconomic groups or the African American community. While some of these demographics do tend to have higher rates of maternal obesity or other risk factors, not all fatal compilations can be easily explained away on the basis of race or socioeconomic status alone.
In fact, at many of these 120 hospitals where the rate of maternal fatality was as much as double that of other centers, many of the patients who died did not belong to these demographics. This proves that these facilities are often simply relying on demographics and other factors as a way to explain away these high complication rates, without bothering to invest in sound patient care practices that could help identify and manage these complication risks.
Indiana has a poor maternal health record, and our state ranks at No. 3 on the list of states with the highest maternal death rates. This is extremely alarming, and it is high time that Indiana hospitals worked harder to prevent these deaths.
If you or a loved have been injured as a result of medical negligence, talk to an Indianapolis medical malpractice attorney at Montross Miller and discuss your legal rights to a claim for damages.