Having a baby is supposed to be a joyous occasion for a family. Tragically, for some families, the birth of a new child does not result in a happy growing family but instead results in death of the mother, the infant, or both. The New York Times reported recently on one tragic case in which a mother died in a hospital after giving birth. The article not only shared that mother's story, but also illustrated the problem of rising maternal mortality rates throughout the United States.
When a mother or baby dies in childbirth, surviving family members are left without loved ones. Financial and emotional damage result from these tragedies. An Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer should be consulted by victims and their families to understand what their legal rights are.
While nothing can bring back the lost loved ones, obtaining compensation can hold doctors and hospitals accountable and help families to cover medical costs and other financial damages.
Rising Maternal Mortality Rates and Atlanta Medical Malpractice
According to the New York Times, the United States is part of a very small minority of countries where maternal mortality is rising, rather than falling. The increase in mothers dying during and after childbirth comes at a time when healthcare has been improving, but outcomes are still declining.
There are many reasons why mothers in the United States are having poor outcomes. New York Times reported on one recent tragic incident in which a mother delivered her premature baby at home and then was transported to the hospital. She had gone into labor at 11:30 in her bathroom at home and a neighbor helped her to deliver the baby before she was transported to Harlem Hospital.
She hadn't delivered the placenta, so was transported to a labor ward where a doctor attempted to manually remove the placenta. The doctor was not successful at this procedure, and her blood pressure dropped during the procedure. The mother went into shock, and she had to undergo an additional procedure during which the walls of her uterus were scraped. Her blood pressure dropped dramatically again at end of the procedure and doctors believe that she started to hemorrhage.
Despite the concerns about her health, no steps were taken to address internal bleeding that she was experiencing, and the source of her bleeding was not identified. She had to be admitted to intensive care, where she received rapid blood transfusions even as her internal bleeding was progressing and her vital signs were getting worse. Doctors sought consent to perform additional exploratory procedures, without ever fully explaining the severity of her condition to her husband.
Her husband was told the surgery would take several hours, so he went to pick up his older child. He received a call at 10:00 PM that his wife's heart had stopped. At 10:37 PM, after several failed resuscitations, she was pronounced dead.
She is one of many women who will die during childbirth in the United States. Her husband, like many other grieving family members, is seeking to hold the hospital accountable through a medical malpractice claim.
The Atlanta medical malpractice lawyers at Van Sant Law, LLC can represent patients or their families after a medical mistake. Call today at 404-991-5950 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.