The United States is progressive in many areas but continues to lack the ability to provide quality medical care for pregnant women. Women in the U.S. are more likely to suffer fatal complications resulting from pregnancy, labor and delivery than any other high-income country.
How can we address this problem? A recent publication in the New England Journal of Medicine has some suggestions. The authors of the article call for change, stating the following steps can reduce the maternal mortality rate in the U.S.:
- Implement best practices. The researchers call on medical professionals to discuss preventable causes of maternal mortality and develop a set of best practices for treatment.
- Collaborate. The study also states hospitals should encourage physicians of various specialties to meet and discuss risk factors and potential treatment options for each obstetric patient.
- Practice. Use of simulations of pregnancy, labor and delivery emergencies can allow hospitals the opportunity to identify and address any potential gaps in care within their facilities.
Although these steps will likely help, many mothers will continue to face problems when it comes to getting quality medical care. Mothers and family members may be able to hold physicians accountable if injured during pregnancy or the labor and delivery process. The family may be able to pursue legal remedies if a physician provides care below the accepted standard and the mother or child are injured.
In these cases, remedies may be available through a medical malpractice lawsuit. This can include compensation to help cover the costs of additional medical care, rehabilitation and lost wages. Contact an attorney experienced in birth injuries to discuss your options.