Maternal Mortality on the Rise in the US – More Medical Malpractice Lawsuits?
Bringing a life into this world should be one of the most precious moments in life. With technology coming as far as it has the simplest things seem to fall through the cracks. Hospitals and birthing centers big and small are failing to act quickly in emergency situations. The rising problem is that doctors and nurses are failing to recognize basic signs that there is a problem. Slow recognition of problems doubled with a slow response oftentimes leads to mothers dying from blood loss or they have a stroke and become paralyzed or can no longer have kids.
Blood pressure is something that is easy to watch and can be a big indicator if something is not right. Having high blood pressure can lead to a stroke, low blood pressure can indicate hemorrhaging. Whatever the emergency, there are simple steps to alleviate the situation and prevent life changing injury or worse, death. There have been several instances across the nation. One incident in South Carolina has left Mr. Marco Mention a single father to his three daughters. Mrs. YoLanda Mention went home after delivery even though her blood pressure was through the roof. She later returned to the emergency room with higher blood pressure, she had a stroke while in the waiting room and later died.
How is this prevented?
Checking blood pressure regularly during pregnancy, before delivery and after delivery and tracking it could be a matter of life or death. Monitoring blood pressure likely prevents maternal deaths by 60%. Hospitals need preventive measures ready and available at a second’s notice. This includes stocking medications, identifying that a woman is pregnant or just delivered a baby and is experiencing high blood pressure. Also having drills regularly so the medical staff know what to do.
If a mother’s blood pressure is high, check it again in about 15 minutes. If her blood pressure is still at high levels she needs medication within the hour.
Labor and delivery can be an exciting time and exhausting for both mother and baby. It is possible to lose a lot of fluids in the process. In Ohio, Mrs. Ali Lowry bled internally after delivering her baby. The medical staff didn’t notice the warning signs for hours. The hospital was almost out of her blood type so Lowry was airlifted to another hospital. In Texas, doctors and nurses were not keeping track of Mrs. Beatriz Garcia’s blood loss and she nearly bled to death. Her heart stopped and she ended up needing a hysterectomy. Garcia is now waiting for a kidney transplant.
Doctors and nurses need to closely monitor a woman’s fluid loss and measure it accurately by weighing blood-soaked pads and using a calibrated pouch. Monitoring blood loss visually is inaccurate, 90 % of maternal deaths are preventable with the proper steps. These steps include: quick access to a cart stocked with supplies that will help stop bleeding, running drills, and assessing patients for risks of hemorrhaging. Streamlining mobilizing blood bank staff and providing medication if hemorrhaging doesn’t subside.
These types of cases are nothing short of heart wrenching. This other story is no exception. You expect to go into the emergency room and give birth without a hitch. Most are like that but there are cases where the mother walks away harmed or not at all. If you feel like you have been wronged before, during or after your pregnancy, come to us. We will talk to you about the necessary steps to rectify what happened to you.
George Tait Law and its lawyers are not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions about your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm.