Doctors and hospitals use data to implement safer policies, catch medical errors, and prevent personal injury in their patients. Yet, doctors and hospitals in America may be lacking important information that could better help them care for women during childbirth and pregnancy. According to ProPublica, the current data available on the number of women who die in childbirth and pregnancy is incomplete. The investigative report found that there has not been an official count of pregnancy-related deaths in the last 10 years. This could also impact pregnant women who are involved in car accidents. If there isn’t proper medical data on how to treat these women, doctors may not always know best practices.
Women go to the hospital during childbirth and pregnancy with the confidence they will emerge alive and unharmed. After all, the United States is considered a developed country with one the leading health care systems in the world. Yet, women may be going through this major medical process not really knowing what their chances are for survival, what the risks are, and the ways in which doctor error could impact their health or lead to personal injury.
According to ProPublica, at least 700 women die each year in childbirth and pregnancy. According to some experts, this makes the U.S. the leader in the maternal death rate when compared with other wealthy countries. Without accurate data, doctors and medical professionals won’t have the information they need to prevent maternal deaths and personal injury.
One of the major risks pregnant women face is a condition known as preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a dangerous and potentially deadly condition that affects pregnant women and women who have just given birth. According to PennLive, one family is suing their teen daughter’s medical team for failing to detect symptoms of Preeclampsia in their daughter as she went into surgery for a C-section. The girl suffered a massive brain bleed during surgery, which left her quadriplegic with “locked in” syndrome.
The case reveals how doctors’ medical decisions often favor the safety of the baby over the mother’s own health. Doctors could have checked the young mother’s urine for signs of protein that would have detected symptoms of Preeclampsia, but instead favored rushing the young mother into surgery because the baby wasn’t receiving proper nourishment. Doctors sometimes have to make tough decisions during childbirth and delivery. However, the situation raises serious questions about whether doctors should ask mothers about their own wishes. While some mothers would certainly favor their child’s life over their own, others have noted that they would choose differently.
Pregnancy and childbirth come with risks. While the death rate during labor and pregnancy remains low, injuries and accidents can and do happen. If you believe that you were injured during pregnancy or labor due to the negligent actions of a doctor, nurse, or medical team, you may have rights under the law. Data is important. Researchers and public health advocates are learning that data gaps don’t exist just in maternal death rates, but that they also exist in determining the number of people who die each year due to distracted driving. Until we have the data for these injuries and deaths, we won’t be able to adequately find ways to protect individuals involved.
If you’ve been injured in Dallas, Texas, consider speaking to the qualified personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Robert Gregg.