For the past year, people throughout the United States have been concerned about the risks of COVID-19, and as the virus continues to affect everyone’s daily lives, most people are taking precautions to minimize the risks of infection. Those who do become infected may be able to receive the treatment necessary to recover, but the chances of death continue to be high. This is a major concern for pregnant mothers since they will want to protect their child’s health in addition to their own. Unfortunately, the rate of maternal death in the United States, which is already significantly higher than in other industrialized countries, has become even higher for mothers who have been infected with COVID-19.
Additional Risks for Pregnant Mothers
Multiple studies have looked at the rates of severe illness, hospitalization, and death among pregnant women with COVID-19, finding that these women are at an increased risk of serious complications. Pregnant women are 3.5 times more likely to be hospitalized, and they are also much more likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit or require interventions such as invasive ventilation or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). In addition, a study found that the maternal mortality rate for women with COVID-19 infections was 1,250 deaths out of 100,000 pregnancies. This rate is 13.6 times higher than the mortality rate for non-pregnant adults of a similar age.
The effects that COVID-19 has on the respiratory and circulatory systems make infections particularly dangerous for pregnant women. Any stress placed on the heart and lungs can make it more difficult for a mother to receive oxygen and deliver it throughout the bloodstream, which can result in damage to the brain and other organs for both the mother and her child. Mothers may also experience dangerous blood clots, and a compromised immune system may increase the risks that COVID-19 or other infections will be passed from the mother to the child.
Even before the COVID-19 crisis, pregnant women in the United States were at significant risk of death. Approximately 700 women die every year during childbirth, and another 25,000 suffer serious maternal injuries. In many cases, deaths occur because of issues such as high blood pressure (preeclampsia), heart disease, or strokes, and around one-third of deaths take place in the weeks and months after a mother has left the hospital. These issues affect minorities even more seriously; the rate of maternal death for Black and Native American women is two to three times higher than for white women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), two-thirds of maternal deaths are preventable.
Contact Our Illinois Maternal Birth Injury Lawyers
During pregnancy, labor, and delivery, medical personnel should take care to prevent COVID-19 infections, and they should respond quickly to symptoms that could affect the life and health of the mother or the child. If your family has been affected by COVID-19 during a child’s birth, you will want to determine how to address these concerns and provide the care your family members need. At the Birth Injury Law Alliance, we can help you understand your options for receiving financial assistance, and we will work with you to determine whether medical negligence occurred during your treatment. To arrange a free consultation and learn how we can provide the help you need, contact our Chicago maternal death attorneys at 312-945-1300.