Why is maternal mortality rising, and what can be done?

Despite advances in nearly every medical avenue, the United States has seen an increase in maternal deaths over the last 3 years, with 60% of those being preventable (Vanier,  Evans 2019). Pregnancy related deaths are defined as up to 12 months postpartum, and as this article points out, Medicaid in many states only covers up to 60 days postpartum.  

The authors attribute the rise in deaths to lack of access to proper medical care.  A staggering 50% of women using Medicaid do not see a doctor for the 6 week follow up appointment following birth.

So what can be done?  The MOMMA Act has been proposed, that aims to expand Medicaid to one year, along with sharing best practices of care across hospital systems to name just a few points (Vanier, Evans 2019).  Maternal care is lacking in this country when it should be made a priority, both during labor as well as the postpartum period. A lack of adequate care can have devastating consequences. 

Each person involved in a patient’s care has a responsibility to that patient, whether it involves diagnosing a problem, providing the right dosage of medication, taking steps to prevent infection, developing safe protocols and procedures, or following those protocols and procedures. When healthcare providers and facilities fail to do so, they may be held responsible for medical malpractice.

To learn more, or to schedule a free case review with one of our attorneys, contact our Memphis law office today at 888-443-4387.

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