Pregnancy and delivery have often presented dangers to the mother who is giving birth. However, the incidence today of a death during a pregnancy are about 18.5 per every 100,000 live births in the United States. While this number has risen from a low of eight per 100,000 live births in 1987, the rate is not climbing in all parts of the country.
In California, the number of deaths during pregnancy is roughly six per every 100,000 live births, which is down from more than 17 per 100,000 in 2006. The decrease is largely attributed to the state’s actions to better manage obstetric hemorrhage and preeclampsia, which are the leading causes of preventable maternal death. Due to the success that California experienced, the goal is to better manage causes of preventable maternal death such as severe hypertension nationwide.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists hope to implement these new procedures within three years. The hope is that maternal deaths will be halved in the United States within five years. Furthermore, it is hoped that the expansion of Medicaid in some states under the Affordable Care Act will help women get access to the care needed to be healthy enough to avoid complications during a pregnancy.
A pregnant woman who is injured during delivery may want to consider filing a lawsuit against the health care practitioner if negligence can be demonstrated. The hospital where the delivery took place may also be liable for damages. An attorney who has experience in medical malpractice litigation can assist the injured client by examining the applicable medical records and consulting with records in an attempt to demonstrate a failure to provide the requisite standard of care.