Despite having one of the most advanced healthcare systems in the world, the U.S. currently has the highest pregnancy-related death rate among developed nations. Maternal deaths rose 40% in 2021 from the previous year. Black women are particularly vulnerable, dying at significantly higher rates than other groups.
Barriers to Care
Among the barriers to quality care are inadequate access to clinical care, health facilities with limited experience with obstetric emergencies, and the lack of education about the warning signs or need to seek care.
Other barriers are the lack of free affordable healthcare, worker shortages and limited appointment times. These barriers affect newborns as well, leading to birth defects that can require treatment for a lifetime.
Patient Education, Quality Pre-Natal Care
Patient education is imperative for prospective parents to understand their options at every stage of pregnancy and feel prepared to advocate for themselves and their infants.
Prospective parents must have access to high-quality prenatal care, which is critical for successful outcomes. Babies born to mothers who do not receive quality care are more likely to suffer from preterm birth and low weight, or even die.
Postpartum care is another crucial component that is often downplayed or overlooked. Up to 70,000 women annually experience severe postpartum issues, including cardiac and cerebrovascular challenges, leading to future fatalities. More than half of deaths from pregnancy complications occurred during the postpartum period.
Labor and Delivery Mistakes
In some cases, birth injuries occur due to medical errors or negligence during labor and delivery. These include errors in medication administration, miscommunication among healthcare providers, delays in emergency interventions, and the failure to recognize signs of distress in either the mother or child.
Whatever the cause, women and their partners need to be aware of potential medical mistakes. If you believe you may be the victim of inadequate care or a medical error, find out more about your legal options by contacting an experienced Chicago birth injury lawyer.