USA Today Report: United States Most Dangerous Place in Developed World to Give Birth

USA TODAY reports that the United States is the most dangerous place in the developed world to give birth due to a stunning lack of attention to safety recommendations and widespread failure to protect new mothers.

According to the study, a comparison of maternal deaths in most developed nations including Germany, France, Japan, and England from 1990-2015 show a decrease in the death rate. However, in the United States, the number has increased dramatically and continues to trend upward.

The article highlights the sad reality of our healthcare system where profits are weighed over patient’s safety and fatalities due to negligence, wrongdoing or misconduct are passed off as the cost of doing business. Misdiagnosis and medical negligence are often a product of favoring cost saving measures over lifesaving measures. The healthcare industry focuses on the bottom line and taking the extra steps to ensure patient safety comes with added costs that don’t make the cut. This glaring analysis of the maternal death rate identifies the simple steps that hospitals are failing to require or implement despite a proven record of life saving results.

A state by state analysis breaks down how 50,000 mothers are severely injured during childbirth each year with approximately 700 resulting in deaths. It is estimated that approximately half the injuries and deaths could be prevented, reduced or eliminated with better care. California is the one state where the death rate in the U.S. is declining. They have implemented practices that has cut their death rate of new mothers in half. Yet other states are not following their lead.

Florida is ranked amongst the worst states in the nation. The death rate for mothers in delivery from 2012-2016 is 22.3 per 100,000 births which ranks 15 out of 47 nationwide. In 1996, the Florida Department of Health initiated the Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review (PAMR) with the intent of studying pregnancy related deaths. According to the 2017 report, there was a “strong chance to alter outcome” in more than half of the 38 deaths directly related to pregnancy in 2015, including 92 percent of the deaths from hemorrhage, half of the deaths from infection and two-thirds of deaths linked to high blood pressure.

Sean Domnick, a Shareholder at Domnick Cunningham & Whalen with over 20 years of experience litigating cases of medical malpractice stated, “The healthcare industry has a long sordid history of devaluing the standard of care for women. In the 1920’s bleach and Lysol based products were prescribed for feminine hygiene, today 4000 women die from cervical cancer, many as a result of misdiagnosis. To date, FDA trials do not compare dose efficacy between men and women, and women continue to be underrepresented or excluded in trials even though their bodies metabolize drugs differently. We have done a disservice women and mothers for generations and it’s time for the medical community to make women’s health a priority and focus on saving lives not money.”