When you hear of women dying in childbirth due to inadequate medical care, are your first thoughts of the distant past or an undeveloped nation?
If so, you aren’t alone. Most people don’t associate “death in childbirth” as a common problem for women in the United States — but maternal death rates in this country are on the rise — especially for some segments of the population. If you’re pregnant, where you live and the color of your skin could be a life or death issue.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the maternal death rate for women in this country has increased by 50 percent since 1990. In addition, women in certain areas of the country face poorer odds than others. Georgia, for example, is considered the worst state in the nation for maternal safety and is only getting worse.
Women of color, in particular, are at risk. Black mothers are up to four times more likely to die during childbirth than white mothers, regardless of their level of education or income. That’s a startling statistic — and one that points toward troubling conclusions about how doctors may be treating women of different races.
To really gain perspective about the problem, you only need to compare the maternal death rate of various developed nations. There are an estimated 26.4 maternal deaths per 100,000 births in the United States. In Canada, the rate is 7.3 per 100,000. In Norway, it’s only 4.
U.S. women fare far worse than women in many countries that even have far less-adequate health care overall and worse living conditions. For example, Iran’s maternal death rate is only 20.8 per 100,000 birth. In Turkey, it’s 15.8.
Death may be the most serious concern for women, but it’s important to remember that many new mothers are seriously injured during childbirth. For every woman that dies, it’s estimated that another 50 barely survive. Many are left with grave injuries that can last a lifetime.
If you or your wife fell victim to negligent medical care during a pregnancy or delivery, talk to an attorney about your rights and options. A birth injury lawsuit may provide the financial stability your family needs in order to move forward.