Dramatic Increase in Post-Delivery Complications, Part 2

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Our last post introduced alarming new research from the Centers for Disease Control. This data showed sharp increases in the rates of life-threatening maternal complications, both during and after delivery. With this data in hand, hospitals and health experts are taking a new look at ways to prevent complications from harming Ohio mothers.

One particularly dangerous delivery complication is the risk of hemorrhage. When a delivery mistake results in severe and unstoppable bleeding, the chances of wrongful death become much higher. Hemorrhages illustrate one approach that some hospitals are taking to try to improve maternal outcomes.

Hemorrhages can occur during or after deliveries and a number of unpredictable factors can serve as triggers, including blood clots. When a hemorrhage does occur, medical teams need to balance rapid responses with effective treatment. Small mistakes can mean the difference between life and death. Some cases may require drastic procedures that can leave a lifelong mark on a mother, including emergency hysterectomies.

To train staff to respond appropriately in these emergencies, some hospitals have begun instituting a rigorous drill schedule. One Midwestern hospital ran drills twice a month. When a 25-year-old mother suffered a sudden and severe hemorrhage during a delivery, the team knew exactly what to do and worked cohesively to save her life with a blood transfusion and hysterectomy.

Despite these improvements, delivery complications remain enormously dangerous for many Ohio mothers. Around 25 percent of any given hospital’s malpractice settlements involve obstetrics claims – further illustrating the need to consult an experienced Ohio birth injury lawyer after a complication.

Source: Wall Street Journal, “Steep Rise of Complications in Childbirth Spurs Action,” Dec. 10, 2012

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