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Maternal Mortality Rates on the Rise
A recent op-ed published in the Salt Lake Tribune highlighted a growing problem in the United States: rising maternal mortality rates. The author cited a number of statistics that she claimed were a clear call for better support for mothers from pregnancy through childbirth and aftercare.
That data included the following:
- For every 100,000 live births in the U.S., there are 32.9 maternal deaths. Over half of the maternal deaths happen after birth, and 20% occur within a week. The women most at risk are low-income and Black, with the latter three times more likely to die no matter what their income level.
- Also contributing to higher death and injury rates are women at older ages choosing to have children, as well as those with pre-existing medical conditions, such as hypertension or high blood pressure.
- Women between the ages of 25 and 34 also are most at risk for birth injuries caused by assistive delivery tools such as forceps or vacuum extraction. Seven out of every 1,000 babies born annually have birth injuries and many of these injuries are avoidable.
- One in five women report mistreatment by maternity care providers. This includes a provider ignoring a request for help, being shouted at, or scolded, and not having physical privacy protected. Women also are threatened with withholding treatment or forced to accept unwanted treatment.
- A quarter of women who had a cesarean section or induced labor reported feeling pressured by their providers to do so. Low-income women are most at risk for mistreatment, but all income levels have reported not feeling believed by their doctor when they discuss symptoms of pain.
While many things can complicate pregnancy, some birth injuries arise solely from human error, or things that could have been prevented. Tom Duffy has recovered birth injury settlements in excess of $20,000,000. If you would like to speak with a top Philadelphia birth injury attorney in Philadelphia, contact us to learn more.