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Maternal Mortality Rates On the Rise in the United States: Are These Deaths Preventable?

San Jose Medical Malpractice Lawyers

Pregnant Woman and StethoscopeGiving birth can be dangerous. In centuries past, childbirth claimed mothers' lives on a consistent, even predictable, basis. Despite decades of medical advances, hundreds of women around the world still die from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth every day. Many of these complications are preventable. High rates of maternal mortality are not only a problem in developing nations. In the United States, an average of 14 women die due to pregnancy and childbirth complications for every 100,000 live births. This is twice the maternal mortality rate in Canada. Further, this rate was higher in 2015 than it was in 1990, despite the global rate falling 44 percent during this same time period. Why is the maternal mortality rate so high in the United States? Many of the issues behind maternal deaths are completely preventable, such as physician oversights and failure to provide adequate prenatal care. When an individual dies due to preventable medical errors, his or her loved ones may seek compensation for their damages through a wrongful death claim.

Ways Physician Negligence Endangers Womens' Lives

American women, as well as American men, have more health problems than they had in the past. These health problems include high blood pressure and obesity, which can put a pregnant woman and her fetus' health and safety at risk. When a physician fails to account for the health problems a patient faces and take steps to mitigate them for the sake of her health and safety during pregnancy and birth, the physician could be held liable for any resulting complications like heavy bleeding and obstructed labor. Infections can occur after birth if the patient and the area around her are not sterilized properly. In some cases, infections can lead to death.

In other cases, doctors actively make medical decisions that harm patients. The United States has one of the highest Cesarean section rates in the world. Although this procedure can save lives when it is medically necessary, it can put the mother and the baby at serious risk of injury and death when it is not medically necessary.

Other types of physician negligence occur when physicians and their assistants rush labor or delivery or fail to communicate with each other and the patient regarding the patient's symptoms, personal needs, and allergies to specific medications. Failing to catch a complication before it becomes life-threatening, handling an infant too roughly at birth, leaving surgical equipment inside a patient, and giving the patient too little, too much, or the wrong kind of medication can all result in serious injury or death.

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim Following Medical Malpractice

If you have lost a loved one to medical malpractice, you have the right to file a California medical malpractice claim to seek compensation for the following damages:

  • Lost income and employment benefits;
  • Medical and funeral expenses;
  • he loss of the deceased's companionship and guidance; and
  • Your own pain and suffering.

It is important to note that certain damages, like pain and suffering and the loss of the victim's income, can be sought by the victim's loved ones. Other damages, like funeral expenses, must be sought on behalf of the victim's estate. Although both types of compensation ultimately benefit the victim's loved ones, it is important that a claimant know the difference between the two. Discuss this with your medical malpractice lawyer during your consultation and as you move forward with your claim.

In California, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years from the date of the victim's death. Once two years pass after your loved one's death, you lose your right to file a wrongful death claim.

Work with San Jose Medical Malpractice Lawyers

If you have lost a loved one to preventable medical errors in pregnancy or childbirth, work with our team of San Jose medical malpractice lawyers to file a medical malpractice claim and seek compensation for your damages. Losing a loved one this way can be extremely traumatic and have a life-changing impact on his or her family. To learn more about your rights and the wrongful death claim process, contact our veteran legal team at Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. to set up your initial legal consultation with our San Jose law firm.

Client Reviews
My experience with Attorney Brad Corsiglia during my recent medical malpractice case was nothing short of amazing given the very stressful circumstances. I was fortunate to find Brad highly recommended from a mutual contact and from the very beginning of the process, Brad was truly engaged and knowledgeable in understanding my case and providing input on what avenues were available to me. Michelle M.