Initiatives underway to protect lives of mothers in childbirth

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

Readers in New York who know of or are expectant mothers are likely to understand the fear of fatal complications related to childbirth. The U.N. and the World Health Organization published a new report that ranks the United States last among fully developed countries for maternal mortality, and along with the study’s findings that between two and three women die daily from pregnancy problems in the U.S., evidence seems to show that the country’s current standard of care for pregnant women might benefit from improvements in many areas.

Some motivated medical professionals are taking steps to help make childbirth a safer prospect for American women. The California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative, for example, produced a toolkit for treatment of hemorrhaging that has managed to significantly lower the maternal mortality rate in that state.

A $500 million program called Merck for Mothers has worked to establish delivery room emergency protocols and set up mobilized services to visit pregnant women at home for care throughout pregnancy. It has funded efforts of the Maternity Care Coalition, a group which has worked in Philadelphia to provide many pregnant women with key medical, administrative and moral support that they were otherwise highly likely to miss.

As organizations strive to minimize and possibly eliminate some forms of pregnancy-related injury and death in this country, some mothers will unfortunately continue to lose their lives. Some of these deaths may occur due to a hospital staff’s failure to exercise reasonable standards of care. The legal right for parties who have lost loved ones to file suits against hospitals and staff for alleged negligent acts could serve as an important reminder to some professionals to avoid errors that could add to mortality statistics.

Source: WWSB My Suncoast, “New programs aim to save lives of American moms in childbirth“, July 04, 2014

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