The death of a mother leaves a void in a family. She won’t be there for her newborn, her other children, or her spouse. Her family loses her irreplaceable love and companionship, her guidance and support as a parent, as well as any income that she may have provided for the family.
If you a loved one has experienced a birth injury, or if a mother in your family has died as the result of a birth injury, The Becker Law Firm will help you learn what went wrong and who was responsible. With medical experts on our staff and a team of physicians employed to understand every aspect of your case, we know the right questions to ask to get to the root of whatever negligence or medical malpractice occurred.
If you aren’t yet ready to speak with us directly, we’ve gathered facts about birth injuries to mothers that are important to know you decide how to move forward and seek full justice for your family.
Being a Mother Is Becoming More Dangerous
Carrying and giving birth has always posed a risk for women. As recently as the 18th Century, roughly one out of every 100 pregnant women died during childbirth. Thanks to medical advances, this risk has greatly declined. By 1990, one maternal death occurred for every 6,000 live births in the United States.
Over the last three decades, however, the rate of maternal death in the United States has been steadily rising. In 2015, roughly one mother died for every 3,750 live births. The United States is the only developed country in the world where the rate of mothers dying during pregnancy and birth has been increasing, and we now have the highest maternal death rate of any developed country in the world. From the beginning of pregnancy to approximately one year following delivery or termination, American women are three times more likely to die than women in Canada and six times more likely to die than women in Sweden.*
Deaths Per 1,000 Live Births
Figure 1 - Source: NPR https://www.npr.org/2017/05/12/528098789/u-s-has-the-worst-rate-of-maternal-deaths-in-the-developed-world
*These statistics only reflect maternal deaths and not the negligence-related injuries suffered by other pregnant women.
Types of Maternal Injuries
Some of the different types of potentially catastrophic injuries that mothers may suffer before during, and after birth include:
- Hemorrhage (heavy discharge of blood from ruptured blood vessels);
- HELLP Syndrome (A series of symptoms that involves three complications: Hemolysis, the destruction of red blood cells; Elevated Liver enzymes, an indicator of liver damage; and Low Platelet count, a lack of clotting factors in the blood);
- Pulmonary Embolism (sudden blockage of a lung artery);
- Uterine Rupture (A rare but catastrophic event during pregnancy which involves a break in the smooth muscles lining the wall of the uterus);
- Cardiac Arrest (The sudden loss of heart function may occur due to an arrhythmic heartbeat);
- Surgical Malpractice during Cesarean Section;
- Prolapsed Umbilical Cord (A condition that occurs when the umbilical cord drops through the cervix into the vagina prior to the delivery of the baby. If the cord is compressed during delivery, blood flow to the fetus can be compromised);
- Gestational Diabetes (A condition when a woman who does not have diabetes develops high blood sugar during pregnancy);
- Preeclampsia (A complication during pregnancy involving high blood pressure in the mother);
- Eclampsia (Seizures occurring in a woman with pre-eclampsia before, during, or after delivery);
- Postpartum Negligence (Failure to recognize and treat conditions in the child after birth);
- Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) (A mother who delivers vaginally after a prior Cesarean Section may risk opening a previous C-section scar);
- Premature Rupture of Membranes (PROM) (A condition that occurs when the amniotic sac containing amniotic fluid breaks more than one hour before the onset of labor);
- Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes (A condition that occurs when the amniotic sac breaks prior to 37 weeks of gestation);
- Improper Delivery Technique (A mistake by the caregiver while delivering the baby);
- Undiagnosed Conditions (Health issues that physicians either fail to or are unable to diagnose).
Contact The Becker Law Firm to Fight for Full Justice
If you or a member of your family is a mother who has been the victim of a birth injury and you fear it may have been the result of medical negligence, please contact us today. You don’t have to go through this alone. We can help you find answers and we will fight for you and your family.
You can use the contact form on this page or call us at (440) 252-4399 to schedule a free initial consultation. The Becker Law Firm accepts cases on a contingency basis, meaning you will not be charged unless we win your case.