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Birth injuries, maternal mortality and the dangers of delivery

Childbirth is supposed to be the most wonderful moment in a parent's life. Although this is true in the vast majority of cases, sometimes things can go terribly wrong. Despite significant improvements in technology and training, labor errors and other delivery errors continue to occur. While the focus understandably tends to be on birth injuries to the child, maternal mortality is often one form of birth injury that gets overlooked.

Maryland readers may have heard about a recent report issued by Merck showing that only 11 percent of Americans heard about maternal mortality in the last year. However, two women in the U.S. pass away each day due to complications related to pregnancy. This is a particularly disturbing considering the vast amount of money spent in the area of childbirth, $98 billion annually industry-wide. Because of the limited discussion, most people think maternal mortality only occurs in the third world, not in the U.S.

There are a number of possible causes of birth injuries that can result prior to, during or immediately after the birth of a child to a mother. Some of the more prevalent forms of birth injuries are caused by allergic reactions to medications, post-surgery infections and other unexpected complications. While not every injury may be caused by medical malpractice or professional errors, many medical errors are preventable.

Even in cases where the injury is not fatal, the victims of birth injuries can suffer serious, life long consequences. Paying for the consequences of such preventable acts can be costly. But through a medical malpractice lawsuit, victims of these injuries can be provided with the money they need to afford the care they need.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Save a Mother's Life-Talk About Maternal Death And Near-Miss in the USA," Anne Addison, May 20, 2013

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