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Van Wey, Metzler & Williams

Maternal Mortality and Hemorrhaging

The U.S. Is The Most Dangerous Place In The Developed World To Give Birth

The vast majority of women in America give birth without incident.

But, each year, it’s estimated that 700-900 women in the U.S. die from pregnancy-related complications and more than 50,000 women are severely injured.

The rate of maternal deaths in the U.S. (26.4 per 100,000 live births as of 2015) is higher than in any other developed country in the entire world. Not only are more American mothers dying than in other developed countries, but we’re one of a few developed countries where the death rate is actually increasing, not decreasing.

According to a 2018 expose published by USA Today, “every year, thousands of women suffer life-altering injuries or die during childbirth because hospitals and medical workers skip safety practices known to head off disaster.”

The investigation combed over 500,000 pages of internal hospital quality records and examined the cases of more than 150 women who were injured during childbirth. These recent findings revealed a

Maternal Mortality Rates in Texas Have Skyrocketed

According to a recent study published in the medical journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, maternal deaths in the U.S. caused by pregnancy-related complications rose by an unbelievable 27% between 2000 and 2014. As of 2015, the Texas maternal mortality rate was the highest in the entire developed world at 35.8 per 100,000 live births. According to Obstetrics and Gynecology, maternal mortality rates in Texas more than doubled between the years of 2010 and 2012.

The growing number of maternal deaths has left many families not only grieving, but also left to seek answers to countless questions. In situations like these, filing a wrongful death claim can be the key to obtaining closure through accountability and helping to prevent further preventable tragedies.

What is Maternal Mortality and Hemorrhage?

What Can Be Done to Save Moms?

Postpartum hemorrhage, as one of the leading causes of maternal death, may not be preventable, but, for 99% of cases, it is at least moderately predictable. A risk assessment, only recently adopted by some participating Texas hospitals, categorizes the mother as high, moderate, or low risk by conducting a physical examination and reviewing the medical history for risk factors.

Risk factors can include previous pregnancies, c-sections, twins or multiples, the age and health of the mother, excessive amniotic fluid, uterine surgeries, and many other medical conditions, procedures, and considerations. Although a simple approach, this assessment can accurately predict those patients at risk for postpartum hemorrhage  60%-85% of the time. Only 1% of those categorized as low risk did actually hemorrhage, meaning doctors and nurses had at least moderate warning for the other 99%.

Doctors and hospitals have a responsibility to be prepared. Whether the risk is hemorrhage, hypertension (high blood pressure), infection, or another cause of maternal death, there are protocols, screening tools, and procedures that doctors should always follow, especially for high risk patients.

Doctors and hospitals have a responsibility to monitor all patients, which includes the mother, after delivery. So much time and energy is spent caring for the new baby that many times mothers are left forgotten. This is never okay. Mothers are still at higher risk of complications, bleeding, and infection for hours to days immediately following delivery.

Do I Have a Maternal Death or Hemorrhage Case?

If you or a loved one suffered severe injuries or death while pregnant, during delivery, or after delivery and you believe it was due to doctor or hospital negligence, you may have a case for your injuries or wrongful death:

  • You presented with a high risk of postpartum hemorrhage, hypertension, or another condition.
  • The doctor did not perform a risk assessment.
  • The doctor failed to adequately prepare for a possible hemorrhage or another complication based on your risk assessment.
  • The doctor failed to properly monitor you during pregnancy for hypertension related conditions.
  • The doctor failed to properly monitor you after delivery.
  • You suffered severe injuries due to blood loss or the complications of blood loss.
  • You suffered severe injuries including stroke due to hypertension, high blood pressure, and related conditions.
  • You lost a loved one due to blood loss or the complications of blood loss, hypertension or high blood pressure including stroke, infection, or other serious conditions related to pregnancy and delivery.

Our job is to level the playing field so that when negligence occurs, the healthcare providers are held accountable for their actions and other families are not forced to endure similar and tragic situations.

What Do I Do If My Loved One Was Injured or Lost Her Life Due to a Pregnancy or Delivery Related Condition?

What Should You Expect From a Maternal Mortality or Hemorrhage Lawsuit?

A maternal hemorrhage claim is a severe personal injury claim by the person who was injured against the providers who allowed the injury to occur.

A maternal death claim is a type of wrongful death civil action that requires the plaintiff to prove the fatality was caused by the negligent party. By filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you (the surviving family members) can receive financial security and closure, moving on with your life knowing that the person or entity responsible for your loved one’s death will be held accountable.

The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to compensate surviving family members and the estate for any losses they experience as a result of a person’s death. Compensation is divided among survivors in proportion to the injury they suffered, either as determined by the court or by mutual family agreement.The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to compensate surviving family members and the estate for any losses they experience as a result of a person’s death.

For maternal mortality and hemorrhage claims, there are two types of damages you can recover: Economic and noneconomic. Economic damages include compensation for monetary losses and expenses, such as medical care and lost earnings. Noneconomic damages include compensation for non-monetary losses like lost companionship and pain and suffering. The exact types of damages you can receive depend on the type of case you are filing.

In Texas, generally, you could receive damages to compensate for:

  • Lost earning capacity.
  • Lost maintenance, services, advice, support, care, and counsel the deceased may have provided to family members.
  • Pain and suffering of the loved one (prior to death).
  • Lost love, comfort, and companionship.
  • Lost inheritance, including what the deceased would have earned and given to family members had she lived to a reasonable age.

Hiring a Dallas Maternal Death Lawyer

At Van Wey, Metzler & Williams, we have years of experience dealing with maternal death cases. We have represented families whose loved ones died due to all types of circumstances. We will review your specific case to determine if a wrongful death claim can be pursued and what steps to take next.

Unfortunately, most families will never get a straight answer from the doctor or hospital after the death of a mother or newborn child. Our job is to level the playing field and advocate on your behalf to find out exactly what led to your loved one’s death, and to seek justice and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Contact an experienced Dallas maternal death lawyer today for a free consultation:

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