Pregnant women may anticipate being out of the woods once they deliver a child, but this isn’t always the case. And in too many circumstances, medical providers may not recognize the risks these women face until it’s too late. Post-delivery complications like preeclampsia (yes, it can occur after delivery, too), hemorrhage and infection occur regularly in the U.S. In fact, the U.S. now has the highest maternal mortality rate of all the world’s wealthiest countries. Many of these injuries and deaths are preventable. So why are they happening in the first place?
Lack of protocol, lack of resources
In many hospitals, there is simply not an established protocol for what to do when something goes wrong in the delivery room. Or, the protocol may exist, but it’s not practiced, and therefore when something does go wrong, there’s a delay before the medical team can regroup and address the problem. In other situations, hospitals may not have the necessary resources to deal with every kind of emergency that occurs after childbirth. For example, rural hospitals that experience a post-birth complication may need to move the patient to a different hospital, and that transfer can delay treatment and complicate the condition.
In many cases, unfortunately, negligence is to blame for maternal injury and mortality. Medical personnel may not monitor the patient properly, or may dismiss symptoms prematurely instead of investigating reported issues thoroughly. Delay in treatment, or missed diagnoses post-birth can lead to serious injuries or even be fatal, turning what was supposed to be a joyous occasion into an avoidable tragedy.
While there’s nothing that anyone can do to bring back a mother who perished unnecessarily from post-birth complications, you can pursue your legal options for compensation to help deal with the challenges you and your family will face in the years ahead.