50,000 mothers are severely injured while giving birth and 700 of them die every year in the US
Among all the States in the US, New York State has the highest rate of mothers injured while giving birth. Many of these injuries are the direct result of hospital negligence and medical malpractice. A recent investigation by USA Today shows that not only in New York but all over America negligent medical workers skip basic safety practices that have proven to be life savers for mothers.
Weighing blood pads to track dangerous hemorrhages as well as controlling blood pressure and if necessary immediately providing medication to prevent strokes are basic procedures that protect a mother about to give birth. However in the US many nurses, doctors and hospitals continue to ignore them. As a result while in most developed countries the rate of maternal deaths and injuries dropped drastically over the last decades, it rose sharply in the US.
Excepted for California where safe practices have been implemented, hospitals in other Sates continue to ignore basic safety practices. As a result, every day in the US, 2 mothers die from complications related to delivery. Many of them bleed to death because doctors and nurses don’t bother to quantify blood losses. Many others die from stroke because the hospital staff didn’t track their blood pressure or didn’t provide blood pressure medication on time. Most of these deaths are preventable. Experts estimate that 93% of the deaths related to bleeding could be avoided by quantifying blood loss and 60% of the deaths related to blood pressure disorder could be prevented simply by proprely monitoring blood pressure.
Weighing blood loss and monitoring blood pressure are simple basic safety procedures but hospitals in the US still don’t use them. Additionally regulators and other oversight groups who could pressure hospitals to do more are not doing it.
For example, Medicare and Medicaid are very strict with hospitals when it comes to protecting elderly but they don’t do anything to protect mothers. To get paid hospitals are required to disclose information related to the complication rate for hip, knee and heart surgeries and all the information is posted online. However despite an average 4 million mothers giving birth while on Medicaid every year, hospitals are not required to disclose any information related to childbirth complications to get paid.