Maternal Health Lawyer
Maternal Health for African American Women
While injury and death rates are distressingly high for US women of all races, those rates among women of color are shocking, as a maternal health lawyer can explain. In fact, according to the National Partnership for Women and Families, black women in the US are more likely to die during pregnancy and childbirth than women of any other race.
How much more likely?
Black women are three to four times more likely to experience a pregnancy-related death.
Even more tragic is the fact that more than half of the pregnancy-related injuries and deaths are preventable. The Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM) has established guidelines for medical personnel caring for mothers during pregnancy and childbirth, and these guidelines dramatically improve outcomes for mothers, reducing both injuries and death. Because these guidelines rely on simple procedures and treatments, rather than expensive equipment or complicated steps, it is all the more troubling to discover that far too few hospitals and birthing centers follow these guidelines.
And that means unacceptably high rates of maternal injury and death, particularly for women of color. When your family is faced with the tragedy of serious maternal injury due to medical negligence, you may need an experienced, compassionate maternal health lawyer who will help you get the compensation you deserve.
McEldrew Young Purtell specializes in personal injury cases, and a maternal health lawyer from our team is experienced at helping African American mothers and their families get compensation for medical expenses due to:
- Unmonitored blood loss
- Organ failure
- Untreated high blood pressure
- Blood clots
- Untreated infections
- Fertility loss
- Maternal death
The Maternal Health Crisis for African American Women
Why do women of color suffer maternal injuries and death at such a high rate? There are a number of reasons. Because black women overall have less access to affordable healthcare and contraception, they experience a higher rate of unintended pregnancies when compared to other racial populations. Black women tend to have less or poorer quality prenatal care. They tend to develop preeclampsia (high blood pressure) earlier in their pregnancies, and they’re more prone to fibroids, which can cause hemorrhaging after delivery.
All of these factors combine to dramatically increase African American women’s risks of suffering injuries or death during pregnancy and delivery. But increased risk factors don’t have to result in complications. Most of these injuries and deaths are preventable by vigilant, adequate medical care. Mothers deserve safe pregnancies and deliveries, regardless of the color of their skin, but when the evidence so clearly demonstrates that women of color are disproportionately affected by maternal injury and death, it is up to the mothers, their families, and the legal profession to ensure that medical practitioners are held responsible for their grave mistakes.
Consequences of Maternal Injury and Death
When a delivery doesn’t go as anticipated, the consequences can be devastating. Families may find themselves facing enormous medical bills, both for the complicated delivery and for necessary treatment in the future. Mothers who suffer strokes or organ failure due to blood loss may experience a much poorer quality of life. Husbands, partners, and families may struggle to care for their newborns and older children while a mother recovers, or they may experience the devastation of maternal death amplified by concerns over childcare and diminished income.
Women of color suffer to an even greater degree of injury because they often lack sufficient access to affordable healthcare, healthcare they will need to recover from injuries sustained during childbirth, as a maternal health lawyer understands all too well. They may struggle to simply survive, let alone thrive after a difficult delivery.
Economic devastation. Grief. Ongoing medical difficulties. These are very real outcomes for black mothers and families who experience maternal injury or death.
How Do You Handle Maternal Injury or Death?
Knowing that maternal injury or death was preventable makes the loss that much more profound. We know that if medical personnel monitor blood loss during delivery, they’re able to detect and treat excessive bleeding before the consequences become dire. Monitoring a mother’s blood pressure regularly allows physicians to treat dangerously high blood pressure before a mother has a stroke. When we see troubling numbers of black mothers who suffer needlessly, we must start to ask difficult questions.
The maternal health lawyer at McEldrew Young Purtell know that families affected by maternal injury or death need answers and they need compensation for their expenses. We can help you determine if your loss was due to medical negligence. We will work to get you the answers you need, and we’ll work to ensure your expenses are covered, both for the present and for ongoing care if it’s needed.
Improving maternal health outcomes for women of color is a big job, but it’s one we’re committed to. Holding the medical profession accountable is the first step toward preventing injuries and deaths in the future.
Looking to the Future
The medical system in the US is failing women of color. Preventable medical mistakes result in maternal injuries and death, with devastating consequences. The medical industry can do better. They can implement AIM guidelines in hospitals and birthing centers. Physicians and medical personnel can and should make choices that result in healthy deliveries for African American women.
McEldrew Young Purtell advocates for women of color and their families. We believe that all women deserve healthy pregnancies and deliveries, and when medical negligence causes maternal injury or death, we will fight for the compensation families deserve. We take maternal injury and death cases on a contingency basis, which means that our fees are paid only if we get compensation for you.