In spite of advancements in medical technology, childbirth continues to remain a hazardous procedure for American women. According to a new study, out of the approximately 4 million women who deliver a baby every year in this country, approximately 13% suffer at least one major complication.
For each of these 4-million women, the birth of a baby is a momentous occasion, and cause for celebration. However, very often things go wrong during the delivery. From failure to monitor maternal health and fetal progress to a failure to accurately identify the need for a C-section in time: any number of mistakes can be made during the delivery process. These errors contribute to serious injuries to the baby and the mother as well.
However, according to the study, those rates of complications vary significantly across the country. Compared to better-performing hospitals, the lowest-performing hospitals in the country are frequently the scene of higher rates of complications and errors. For example, according to the study, women who underwent cesarean sections at a lower-performing facility experienced complications including infections, clots, and lacerations at a rate that was five times the rate of higher-performing hospitals. At lower-performing hospitals, the rate for these types of complications was 21%. At the better hospitals, the complication rate was approximately 4.4%.
Significant variations were also seen in the complication rates when it came to vaginal deliveries. Women at lower-rated hospitals were twice as likely to suffer complications during delivery compared to women who delivered at higher-performing facilities. The rate was 22.6% at lower-performing facilities, compared to 10% at the better facilities. According to the researchers, the significant variation in complication rates provide enough data for them to understand the best practices at the better-performing hospitals so that more strategies can be developed to lower the rates of maternal complications.
Thankfully, there is already some work being done in this area. The American Society of Anesthesiologists and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have joined hands to develop a platform that would help facilitate better reporting of information on maternal outcomes. In the future, this could lead to the development of an important tool to improve the quality of maternal care in this country.
The Indiana medical malpractice lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson Kennedy, LLP represent persons injured in medical malpractice as a result of medical negligence in the Indianapolis region and across Indiana.