Pregnant woman hospitalized holds her stomach apprehensively.

Unfortunately, over 700 women die annually due to pregnancy-related complications in the United States. This statistic shows that it is far too common in our society.

Pregnancy is a time of change for women’s bodies. Most of these changes are normal and completely healthy. However, some changes can be important to note as they can be signs of complications in the pregnancy.

Pregnancy-related deaths can occur while a woman is pregnant or up to one year from giving birth if it is due to a complication from pregnancy or an aggravated condition as a result of a pregnancy that leads to death.

If your loved one has passed away from a pregnancy-related death, you should consider her medical treatment. In some cases, medical malpractice causes these deaths that could have been avoided with proper care.

United States Statistics on Pregnancy-Related Deaths

  • 30.5% of pregnancy-related deaths occur before birth.
  • 700-900 women die every year in the United States due to a pregnancy-related death.
  • The maternal mortality rate in the US is difficult to track, but it has at least doubled in the last 25 years.
  • In 2015, the US maternal mortality rate was higher than that of Iran, Libya, and Turkey. It is also at least 15 points higher than other developed countries like Australia and Canada.
  • Cardiovascular conditions were the leading cause of pregnancy-related death from 2014-2017.
  • 6.7% of pregnancy-related deaths are from unknown causes.
  • Black Americans are the most at-risk ethnic group to suffer a pregnancy-related death. Over 41% of pregnancy-related deaths in 2017 were of black Americans.
  • Women in America are three times more likely to die a pregnancy-related death than a woman in Canada.

Causes of Pregnancy-Related Deaths

There are many potential causes of death among maternal women. They vary based on the age, ethnicity, and social class of the mothers. However, there are some common causes of pregnancy-related deaths that occur amongst all demographics:

  • Bleeding and hemorrhages
  • Heart conditions and heart attacks
  • Infection or sepsis, especially following C-sections
  • Heart failure or pulmonary embolism
  • Blood clots or embolisms
  • Preeclampsia or eclampsia and other hypertensive disorders
  • Mental health conditions, such as pre or post-partum depression
  • Cerebrovascular accidents
  • Anesthesia complication

Women are at higher risk if they have any of the following conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • Existing chronic heart disease
  • Existing chronic health conditions such as hypertension
  • Over the age of 40
  • Existing mental illness
  • High blood pressure

By doing the following, women can decrease their risk of pregnancy-related death:

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Maintain a healthy weight or lose weight if clinically obese
  • Be physically active, within reason
  • Quit smoking, drinking, and any other substance abuse
  • Avoid injuries as best they can
  • Have regular doctor’s visits to get appropriate medical advice

Medical Malpractice and Pregnancy-Related Deaths

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 60% of pregnancy-related deaths are preventable. Pregnant women trust their doctors to care for them and provide adequate medical treatment throughout their pregnancy and postpartum. When a doctor does not live up to this expectation, they put the woman’s life at risk.

Medical errors and negligence are leading causes of pregnancy-related deaths. Medical malpractice can exacerbate dangerous conditions. Some conditions that could have been prevented, left untreated, can result in death.

The leading types of medical malpractice that cause pregnancy-related death are:

  • Delays in diagnosis
  • Misses diagnosis
  • Improper policies and procedures
  • Inappropriate treatment or mistreatment
  • Lack of knowledge
  • Failure to educate patients on warning signs
  • Unavailability of medical staff
  • Lack of coordination of care
  • Improper assessment and analysis of symptoms
  • Not listening to a patient’s symptoms
  • Inadequate training
  • Failure to seek specialist consultation
  • Inadequate communication
  • Lack of outreach and support

What to Do When Negligence Leads to Pregnancy-Related Death

It is clear that medical professionals in the United States need to do better for their maternal patients. With other developed countries having significantly lower pregnancy-related death rates, it is clear that the preventable deaths in the US are too high.

Examinations by Stanford University have found that when medical professionals have adequate tools, education, and communication skills, the maternal mortality rate drops significantly.

If you have lost a loved one due to pregnancy-related death, you may have a claim for medical malpractice.

Filing a medical malpractice claim is challenging. You will be taking on a hospital that has a large legal defense team in place. However, if you have a claim for damages, you deserve to be heard. That’s why Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath are the right legal team for you. Our experienced medical malpractice lawyers won’t rest until they get you the damages you deserve.

We will handle the complicated process of determining fault, collecting evidence, and getting you maximum compensation. All you have to do is grieve in peace while we do the hard work.

A Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help

When you or a loved one are harmed by your medical caretaker, your losses are significant. You lose trust in the healthcare professionals in our country. You lose a family member and the mother of a new child. You’ll also suffer financial losses with medical bills and funeral expenses.

Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath believe in holding the responsible party accountable. They are liable for your loved one’s death, so they should carry the burden of your losses, not you.

Call us today to speak with a Florida medical malpractice lawyer. We’ll discuss the next steps and how we intend to get you justice.

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