When it comes to healthcare – and more specifically, the process of giving birth to a child – we Americans tend to think we’re better off than most countries in the world. Recently published government data, however, shows that this is far from true. According to a recent study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the frequency of emergency complications that arise in United States delivery rooms increased 75 percent from 2000 to 2009.
Motherhood Gets Riskier
In addition, the CDC’s report also shows that severe complications for women just a few days after the delivery have nearly doubled in the same time frame.
This is troubling information for anyone in the U.S., particularly expecting mothers and those looking to start a family. And because birth injuries are so devastating and cause long-term financial problems for families, the CDC’s findings may have aspiring parents second-guessing their future decisions.
Some experts maintain that the increase in pregnant women who are older, in addition to those with conditions like diabetes, kidney disease and obesity is a contributing factor to the spike in frequency of complications. But at the same time, women who are otherwise in good health can experience life-threatening complications soon after the baby has been delivered.
Another contributing factor is the 60 percent increase in the rate of Caesarean-section delivery, as opposed to traditional childbirth, since back in 1996. Placenta accrete, a condition in which the placenta grows into the uterine wall through a surgical scar, can lead to severe hemorrhaging and is one of the more common complications associated with child birth.
Call to Action for Protecting Mothers
“There is a clarion call now to address the problem of maternal complications,” says William Callaghan, the chief of the CDC’s maternal and child health bureau. “Regardless of age or health, when things go wrong they can go south very fast. Many safety-improvement programs in the past have focused on preventing harm to infants. Now, experts are calling for an equal emphasis on the mother.”
Callaghan’s point addresses the fact that the focus on preventing birth injuries to infants should, logically, be applied in the same manner to the mother delivering the child. It’s a bit too early to say exactly how the CDC and other agencies hope to combat the issue, but awareness is the first step. According to Callaghan, “the CDC is funding programs in a number of states to establish guidelines and protocols for improving safety and preventing injury.”
Any mother who is a victim of medical mistakes during the birth of a child could suffer serious, potentially life-threatening conditions and could even face a lifetime of medical treatment to correct the mistakes that were made. An experienced medical malpractice attorney is likely the best avenue for dealing with these unfortunate and devastating mistakes. A qualified attorney is the best option for victims of medical malpractice in terms of recovering financial compensation to pay for medical bills and other damages.