New Jersey mothers-to-be may be surprised to learn that the United States ranks as the most dangerous developed country in which to give birth. Each year, over 50,000 mothers are seriously injured during or after childbirth; another 700 lose their lives from giving birth. One investigation found that around half of the deaths and injuries were preventable or could have been less severe with improved medical care and better treatment decisions. One of the most common factors found was a lack of timely intervention when problems occur.
Around the world, maternal mortality and injury rates have been on the decline especially in developed nations like Japan, Germany and France. The United States is an exception to the general trend as the rate of deaths and injuries among childbearing women has continued to rise. In 2015, that rate was 26.4 out of 100,000 births. One state — California — is an exception to this overall disturbing trend. The state has also implemented safety requirements and practices targeted at reducing maternal mortality and injury. Following these safety rules has led to the maternal death rate being cut in half in California.
Federal and state regulators elsewhere have done little to implement standard safety regulations for mothers. For example, Medicare requires hospitals to report problems with knee and hip surgeries but has no such requirement for childcare complications.
Childbirth is often expected to be one of the happiest times in a mother’s life. However, doctor errors and medical mistakes may leave mom with severe injuries and disabilities if problems during childbirth do not receive adequate, swift attention. A medical malpractice attorney can consult with someone who has been injured in childbirth to discuss the possibility of seeking compensation for damages.