The US maternal mortality rate is out of control. Thirty years ago, 17 mothers would die in every 100,000 births. Since that time, the maternal mortality rate has risen by 32%. Furthermore, maternal mortality disproportionately affects black women and is worst of all in Georgia.
Causes of Maternal Mortality
The causes of maternal mortality are varied. Deaths during birth are rare. Rather, new mothers often die before birth or within six weeks after birth. According to the US National Institute of Health, the most common causes of childbirth are:
· Severe bleeding
· Indirect causes (iron deficiency, HIV, etc.)
· Extremely high blood pressure
· Unsafe/self-induced abortion
· Obstructed labor
These causes are all avoidable with proper monitoring and access to health care professionals. However, Georgia faces a severe doctor shortage, especially in rural areas.
50% of the 159 counties in Georgia have no OBGYN office. Many Georgia women must drive hours for each pregnancy exam. Others are less fortunate and do not have access to their own vehicle, which results in thousands not seeing a doctor at all.
The national maternal mortality rate currently hovers somewhere around 25 in 100,000. Individually, black women see a national maternal mortality rate of 47 in 100,000, nearly double the national average.
No place in the country represents a greater risk to expecting mothers, especially black mothers, than the state of Georgia. In Georgia, 67 black women die for every 100,000 birth. That rate is comparable to the national average of Syria or Peru. The message is clear: the Georgia health care system has failed these women.
If you lost someone you love due to negligent medical care during or after childbirth, you might have a case. If you’d like an experienced Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer from The Tolson Firm to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (404) 846-8800.