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Maternal Mortality Rates: The Facts Behind the Numbers


Which developed nation ranks highest for complications during pregnancy that result in the mother’s death? It might surprise many people to hear that the United States takes that honor. If you have lost a loved one in these circumstances, a local personal injury/wrongful death attorney may be able to secure some modicum of justice on her behalf.

Disturbing Facts About Childbirth in America

 What we know about giving birth in this country is startling:

  • Many American hospitals are terribly unprepared for emergencies related to a birthing mothers’ health, even when they have highly developed intensive care units for newborn infants;
  • Of all the grants awarded under the category of Maternal and Child Health, just six percent are directed toward mothers;
  • Protocols for handling threatening situations for pregnant mothers are a patchwork of miscellaneous strategies, which makes many otherwise treatable conditions become fatal;
  • Roughly 3 out of every 5 maternal deaths in this country are preventable;
  • While maternal mortality rates have decreased across other developed nations, it has sharply risen in the United States since the year 2000.

Looking at the Numbers Across Developed Countries

 It’s not just that there is a slight difference in mortality rates across countries for women during their pregnancies. The fact is, the maternal mortality rate in the United States is nearly three times that of the U.K. Consider the numbers for 2015:

  • USA:             4/100,000 live births;
  • K.:             9.2/100,000 live births
  • Germany        9/100,000 live births;
  • Canada:         3/100,000 live births;
  • Australia:        5/100,000 live births;
  • Finland: 8/100,000 live births.

How is Florida Doing?

 Unfortunately, although Florida’s statistics are better than the national numbers at 20.2/100,000 live births, they are nonetheless significantly above those of other developed countries. And consider this: race plays a significant role in mortality rates.

  • Black women: 5/100,000 live births;
  • White women: 2/100,000 live births.

What Kinds of Complications are we talking about?

 A number of complications can lead to fatalities is not addressed quickly and properly. Some of the most common issues include:

  • Hemorrhaging;
  • Hypertension;
  • Cardiomyopathy.

What Issues Impact Treatment?

 It is a sad, but true fact, that a number of social dynamics play a role in the care pregnant women are given. According to the Florida Department of Health, some of those factors include:

  • Socioeconomics;
  • Environmental hazards;
  • Racism;
  • Lack of access to health care services;
  • Miscellaneous social supports, or lack thereof.

Trends that have increased complications

A number of changes in American society have led to more complex issues for mothers, including:

  • Mothers are giving birth later in life, so they often have more complicated health issues;
  • More unplanned pregnancies are occurring, with less pre-pregnancy care;
  • We have a disjointed health care system, making access more challenging;
  • More C-sections are occurring.

Getting Necessary Care

Did your loved one receive the care she deserved and needed? If you have doubts after losing someone to a pregnancy-related death, you don’t need to take the hospital’s word for it. Let the experienced legal team at the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton investigate the situation in the pursuit of truth and justice. Contact us in Daytona & Ormond Beach for a confidential consultation today. We can’t get your loved one back, but we can make negligent or reckless individuals pay for their misjudgments.