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Maternal Death: A Look at a Preventable Tragedy

Posted on January 9, 2017

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 600 women die each year because of complications during pregnancy and delivery, and approximately half of those deaths are preventable. Factors such as unhealthy lifestyle choices and medical malpractice during prenatal care or during delivery can all put a mother’s life at risk. There are several steps that can reduce the tragedy of maternal death:

Healthier Lifestyle
During pregnancy, women should work closely with their providers to stay as healthy as possible. Smoking and drinking during pregnancy not only endangers the health of the baby but also puts the mother at greater risk for complications. Mothers should also see their doctors regularly, manage their pregnancy weight gain, and follow all recommendations of their doctors for bed rest and diet. Because having a healthy lifestyle before pregnancy can reduce the risks of pregnancy complications and maternal mortality, women should make efforts to maintain a healthy weight, manage chronic medical conditions, and quit smoking.

Improved Prenatal Care
Poor prenatal care contributes to maternal death in a number of ways. In some cases, women may not have access to the maternal care they need, which means that dangerous conditions like preeclampsia (high blood pressure) and gestational diabetes can occur unchecked. In other instances, medical mistakes in prenatal care can lead to complications that put a mother’s life in danger. And, medical mistakes can lead to complications that put the unborn child’s life in danger

Changes in the Delivery Room
Errors in the delivery room can also lead to maternal death as well as many types of birth injuries. Mistakes in monitoring, failure to act quickly to address complications, such as bleeding, improper use of anesthesia, and failure to respond to infections are all examples of medical malpractice that could result in maternal fatalities.

If you have been touched by the tragedy of a maternal death and believe that a medical error could be the cause, contact Pegalis & Erickson, LLC to speak to a medical malpractice attorney in Long Island, New York. Our experienced attorneys can evaluate the situation and help you decide what next steps to take. Contact us today at (516) 858-2194 to get started.