Massachusetts Legal Blog

The Rising Maternal Death Rate in the US: What You Need to Know

We are led to believe that we have the best medical care in the entire world here in the United States. Why then, are death rates for childbirth rising so quickly, while they are continually dropping elsewhere across the globe? What can families do to keep themselves safe from this worrying trend? As maternal death rates in the U.S. are rising, here’s what you need to know to protect yourself.

Maternal Death Rates: On the Rise

In the period from 2000 to 2014, maternal death rates in the United States rose by 27 percent, according to a report published in Obstetrics and Gynecology. In 2000, roughly 19 out of every 100,000 women in the U.S. died either during childbirth or within 42 days of giving birth. In 2014, that figure had risen to nearly 24 women out of 100,000.

“Certainly, maternal death is still a rare event,” Marian MacDorman of the University of Maryland, the study’s lead-researcher has stated. “But it’s of great concern that the rate is not improving – it’s increasing.”

Why are Maternal Death Rates Rising?

So, what is the cause of this increase? One key reason has been the improvements in the reporting of maternal deaths. Since 2003, death certificates include boxes to account for pregnancy-related issues, meaning the likelihood of a maternal death being recorded is higher than ever before.

This, however, is too simplistic a view. According to Nancy Chescheir, editor-in-chief the periodical Obstetrics and Gynecology, there are a number of reasons why maternal death rates have soared. These range from everything from women having babies later in life to the increase in the number of women being classified as obese.

Medical and Obstetrical Malpractice

While the majority of cases of maternal deaths may be tied to health factors, it is important to understand that some deaths during childbirth, or directly after giving birth, can be tied directly to mistakes made by medical professionals.

If a loved one died due to the negligence of a doctor, nurse, or another medical practitioner, you may be entitled to seek compensation for obstetrical malpractice. Obstetrical malpractice refers to any form of medical malpractice related to either childbirth or a mother’s pregnancy.  This includes the entire period of pregnancy from conception through the birth of a child.

Talk with an Experienced Massachusetts Malpractice Attorney Today

Maternal and Obstetrical malpractice change the lives of families in an instant. At the Shapiro Law Group, we’ve successfully represented many families who were the unfortunate victims of maternal obstetrical malpractice and medical negligence.  We have not only settled many cases but have tried many others to a successful jury verdict. We know the leading experts in their respective medical fields, and we’re well versed on both medicine and the law, which is key to winning your claim.

To get the proper compensation for maternal and obstetrical malpractice errors, make sure you consult the Shapiro Law Group. In addition to any medical expenses, you may be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering you’ve endured. Call today at (339) 309-1188 for a free consultation.