Maternal Mortality Rates

Connecticut mothers-to-be may be interested to learn that maternal mortality rates in the U.S. have been on the rise instead of declining. Now, Americans are more than three times likelier to die during childbirth or from complications than are mothers in Japan, the United Kingdom and Germany, and almost twice as likely to die than mothers in some other developed countries.

The U.S. is one of only eight countries, including Sudan and Afghanistan, demonstrating this trend. There are several possible reasons why maternal mortality rates in the U.S. are climbing, however. Some have theorized that the increased death rates are due to women choosing to get pregnant later, but women in other countries also are waiting, and those countries do not show increasing rates. Others think that the increased reliance on C-sections have also resulted in increased death rates due to the inherent risks of surgery.

Another possible reason is that women are entering into pregnancy in poorer health, with many being overweight or obese and having conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and other associated problems. Despite the changing patient profile, doctors have largely not changed the way in which such patients are treated through their pregnancies and deliveries.

When a physician fails to address a pregnant woman’s other health problems, there is a risk that the omission may result in the woman suffering serious consequences or even dying. In the event a woman dies due to medical negligence during childbirth, her family may want to seek help from a medical malpractice attorney. Legal counsel can seek to demonstrate a failure to adhere to the proper standard of care through an examination of the patient’s medical records and the use of expert opinions.