According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over 600 women die every year due to pregnancy or delivery complications in the United States. In 2013, an estimated 18.5 mothers died for every 100,000 births, which is a total of nearly 800 deaths.

The United States ranks 60 on a list of 180 countries for maternal deaths. The country is one of 8 in the world to see an increase in maternal mortality over the past decade.

Causes of Maternal Death during Childbirth

Pregnancy, labor and delivery are times when a woman's body goes through a lot of stress, and often trauma. A trained obstetrician should be present to watch for any indication of problems during the pregnancy or delivery. Ensuring that any issues are properly monitored and resolved in a timely manner can be the difference between a smooth or complicated delivery.

Some of the common threats present during childbirth are:

  • Placenta Previa: This is when pre-delivery bleeding occurs as a result of implantation of the uterus near the top of the cervix. A routine ultrasound can be used to diagnose placenta previa. If a doctor misses the signs and fails to diagnose the problem, it could lead to massive hemorrhaging and shock. Risk factors include alcohol consumption during pregnancy, delivery via c-section or maternal age under 20 or over 30.
  • Uterine Rupture - This is a problem that is commonly associated with previous uterine scarring. It can occur during labor and delivery. Uterine rupture can occur if a medical team pushes excessively on the mother's stomach or does not properly use labor-inducing drugs.
  • Placental Abruption - This is when the placenta gets prematurely separated from the uterus and causes bleeding. Placental abruption can occur anytime during the pregnancy, but in most cases, it happens after 30 weeks or during labor.

The medical team should also closely monitor women shortly after delivery and watch out for any signs of excessive bleeding, including blood loss caused by tearing or after a c-section.

Pregnant women are also at risk for a number of other complications as their bodies try to adjust to the demands of gestation. This includes cardiac arrest, blood clots, or preeclampsia, which is when blood pressure goes dangerously high. Doctors must make sure to evaluate all risk factors and possible signs and symptoms constantly to administer effective treatment as quickly as possible.

Wrongful Death

While some maternal deaths are not preventable, others can be avoided by competent care from a doctor. When a physician's failure or mistake causes a woman to die during childbirth, her family may be eligible to sue for wrongful death and seek compensation for damages such as loss of economic support, pain and suffering, loss of society, etc.

If your loved one has died during childbirth due to medical negligence, you should immediately seek the help of an experienced medical malpractice attorney at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff,& Wolff of RMFW Law at 212-344-1000. You can discuss the facts of your case during this meeting. What really happened?

What is your side of the story? The first meeting is free. We look forward to hearing from you.


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