US Hospitals Show Increasing Trend in Preventable Injuries and Deaths To Mothers During Childbirth
Did you know that the United States currently has the highest rate of women who die during childbirth in the developed world? Women in our country are suffering life-altering injuries and death — most of which are avoidable injuries — due to hospitals that do not take appropriate steps and care of mothers leading up to and during and after delivery.
Recent in-depth reporting by USA Today, NPR and ProPublica have exposed this national embarrassment: Why in a country with the most advanced medical technology are women dying from childbirth?
The above video is part of the USA Today report, Hospitals Know How To Protect Mothers. They Just Aren’t Doing It.
Avoidable Maternal Deaths in the US
The USA Today article states:
“Doctors and nurses should be weighing bloody pads to track blood loss so they recognize the danger sooner. They should be giving medication within an hour of spotting dangerously high blood pressure to fend off strokes.
These are not complicated procedures requiring expensive technology. They are among basic tasks that experts have recommended for years because they can save mothers’ lives.
Yet hospitals, doctors and nurses across the country continue to ignore them….”
The article includes input from Dr. Steven Clark, a leading childbirth safety expert and a professor at Baylor College of Medicine who says some hospitals follow best practices, but change is slow: “It’s a failure at all levels, at national organization levels and at the local hospital leadership levels as well.”
According to another recent report by, ProPublica and NPR, The Last Person You’d Expect to Die in Childbirth,
“The U.S. has the worst rate of maternal deaths in the developed world, and 60 percent are preventable. The death of Lauren Bloomstein, a neonatal nurse, in the hospital where she worked illustrates a profound disparity: The health care system focuses on babies but often ignores their mothers.”
Maternal Deaths in Massachusetts
We recently reported on the situation here in Massachusetts in a previous blog post, Women Dying in Childbirth in U.S. — A Preventable Tragedy, which highlights a Boston Globe investigative report on maternal deaths at MetroWest Hospital. Lubin & Meyer represents the family at the center of that exposé which includes data on the trends of mothers dying in childbirth in the U.S. and in non-developed countries.
“What’s most disturbing about the increased trend in maternal deaths and injuries is that the medical profession knows how to prevent most of these harms. Hospitals aren’t following recommended guidelines to identify high-risk pregnancies, and monitor and respond to a mother’s well-being before, during and after delivery.”
Share this lifesaving information
The USA Today article includes a link to a printable guide for you and/or a loved one that highlights the most important questions to discuss with doctors and hospital staff related to a mother’s safety during childbirth.
Tips included in this guide include ensuring that the medical team:
- measures blood loss
- pays attention to blood pressure readings
- know preeclampsia warning signs that can lead to stroke
- insist nurses take blood pressure correctly.
Download the Childbirth Safety Guide here for more detailed information.
Questions about problems encountered during childbirth?
Our medical malpractice and birth injury attorneys are available to review your case free of charge. Our lawyers practice in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. There is no obligation or fee to have your case reviewed by our medical-legal team.
View our main website at LubinandMeyer.com – Lubin & Meyer PC – New England’s Leader in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law