Cleveland Malpractice Attorneys
In the United States, life-threatening complications for new mothers are on the rise
The number of new mothers who suffer serious complications around the time their babies are born has more than doubled in the past twenty years. Medical errors, a lack of access to proper healthcare, and preexisting conditions are all factors that contribute to this disturbing trend. At the Eisen Law Firm, our Cleveland medical malpractice attorneys have held doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals and facilities accountable when preventable injuries occur.
Maternal injuries: The numbers
In the United States, approximately 4 million women give birth each year. Fortunately, for most of these women, labor and delivery proceeds without any major complications. However, in about 50,000 of these women, life-threatening complications arise. Some may result in permanent disability or even death. Between 700 and 900 women die every year from complications that stem from pregnancy and childbirth in the United States.
From 1993 to 2014, the rate of serious complications per 10,000 deliveries has more than doubled. The number of blood transfusions increased fivefold, and emergency hysterectomies increased by almost 60 percent. In 2014, more than 4,000 women underwent emergency hysterectomies following delivery. Additionally, sepsis treatment and intubation rates rose by 75 percent, and the number of resuscitations increased by 175 percent.
Risk factors for maternal injuries and death
There are several factors that contribute to an increased risk of maternal injury or death. These include:
- Advanced maternal age
- Being overweight or obese
- Substance abuse
- Poor health insurance coverage
- Unnecessary intervention, such as inducing a birth, performing a Caesarean section, or using tools to assist with labor when they are not needed
Pregnant women should be monitored carefully during their pregnancies to watch for signs asthma, diabetes, and hypertension. If these conditions develop, medical providers should watch these women closely throughout their pregnancies to detect any dangerous symptoms. For example, if a woman develops gestational diabetes, serious injury could result to both her and her baby, if it is not treated properly.
For whatever reason, many hospitals in the United States do not have treatment protocols established that help doctors and nurses leap into action to prevent complications from becoming life-threatening. Many doctors scoff at such measures, complaining that they are an intrusion on their professional judgment.
Getting answers when things go wrong
When a mother suffers serious complications in a hospital, it can be difficult to obtain answers. Both hospital and government agencies often fail to fully investigate why a new mother has died. If non-life-threatening complications have arisen during a hospital stay, it is even less likely that an investigation will be conducted. And when these “case reviews” are completed, hospitals routinely invoke the “peer review privilege” to keep the results of the review hidden from the mother and her family.
Hiring an experienced medical malpractice attorney is essential in these claims. Our medical malpractice attorneys carefully study medical records and other evidence and determine whether a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional committed some type of error that resulted in your injuries. Going it alone does not work. Hospitals and other providers often make it difficult and expensive for patients to even get access to their records. They make available online only snippets of the records, most of which are not helpful in terms of getting to the bottom of what happened. We can get the right records, using key provisions of a very important federal law that hospitals and other providers cannot ignore or evade. Then, we can analyze the records and determine whether a valid case exists.
Damages in a medical malpractice case
With the assistance of our skilled medical malpractice attorneys, the odds of recovering damages are much more likely. The purpose of damages is to make up for whatever has been lost, even though that can be very difficult (or even impossible) to do. Damages may include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- The cost of future medical care
- The cost of remodeling a home to add wheelchair ramps, chair lifts, and similar additions
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
Other damages may also be available, depending on the facts of the case.
Contact leading Cleveland medical malpractice lawyers if you or a loved one was injured during labor or delivery
If you or someone you know suffered injuries that were caused by the negligence of a medical professional, contact the Eisen Law Firm today for a free consultation. Our Cleveland medical malpractice attorneys focus solely on medical negligence cases and are dedicated to helping you obtain the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call 216-687-0900 or contact us online.