Pregnancy-Related Deaths Increase in the US

The United States ranks number 41 in the World Health Organization’s list of maternal death rates. An estimated 500 women die each year from pregnancy complications, and every 15 minutes one woman has severe complications that will almost cause her to die. These statistics are shocking for a developed country that has a range of pregnancy specialists and facilities that women can take advantage of.

“This is not just a public health emergency – it is a human rights crisis,” Amnesty International said in its report, Deadly Delivery: The Maternal Health Care Crisis in the USA. The group is promoting H.R. 894, The Maternal Health Accountability Act of 2011, to establish grant funds for maternal mortality review boards in every state. American women are becoming vulnerable to a health care system with “…inadequate staffing and quality protocols; a lack of accountability and oversight; and discrimination.” The bill would also provide funds for further research and analysis.

Obstetrics & Gynecology reported that, “the aggregate pregnancy-related mortality ratio for latest eight-year period is higher than any period in the previous 20 years of the Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System.” And, “African-American women continued to have a three-to four-fold higher risk of pregnancy-related death.” Recent trends also show an alarming rate of pregnant women dying from various heart diseases. Peripartum cardiomyopathy, a potentially fatal cardiac disease, causes the heart muscle to thin and weaken during the latter part of a pregnancy and following childbirth. A recent news article described how a pregnant woman felt severely short of breath a few days after she gave birth. Her hospital nurses brushed off her complaints. The new mom kept demanding treatment as she knew something was wrong. Two days passed before she was rushed to intensive care and was experiencing congestive heart failure.

“Many clinicians, it seems, are distracted by a woman’s pregnancy – they attribute all unusual physical symptoms to it, even when they’re signs of a serious condition,” said women’s health writer and author Jennifer Block.

Obstetricians, midwives, and delivery room personnel need to pay more attention to heart diseases and symptoms that could seriously compromise a woman’s health. Inadequate treatment, misdiagnosis, and a failure to consult a patient’s medical history can lead to an untimely death or severe complications.

Individuals can take legal action against doctors, nurses and other medical professionals that failed to diagnose, were negligent, or did not treat them with a reasonable standard of care. In Illinois, Chicago medical malpractice attorney Robert I. Briskman, Esq. has decades of holding medical professionals accountable for their actions. As a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer, he will pursue fair compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other costs associated with medical malpractice. Briskman Briskman & Greenberg is a family-oriented law firm that understands just how painful your loss or injury can be. To learn more, visit or call 877-595-HURT (4878).

Briskman Briskman & Greenberg
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Robert Briskman is a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer and Chicago medical malpractice attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit