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Paul M. D'Amore

Death of the Mother During Delivery

Medical Negligence During Pregnancy, Labor, or Delivery Can Prove Life-Threatening

For many years, childbirth represented a real threat to a mother’s life. But modern medicine has mitigated the risks.

Today, an expectant mother should be able to look forward to her pregnancy, labor, and delivery without fear.

Unfortunately, however, the delivery process sometimes takes a turn for the worst.

While some maternal deaths during delivery may happen as a result of truly unpreventable and unmanageable circumstances beyond a doctor’s control, others are the result of medical negligence. Botched deliveries, delivery room accidents, and physician carelessness can turn a joyous occasion into a tragedy.

Family members of women who lose their lives during delivery (or during the postpartum period following delivery) as a result of medical malpractice may be entitled to recover significant financial compensation in a claim for wrongful death. Our office can help.

What Causes a Mother to Die During Childbirth?

The most serious and significant threat to a pregnant woman’s life is preeclampsia or eclampsia — a dangerous rise in blood pressure during pregnancy, labor, or delivery.

While some women are at heightened risk for preeclampsia or eclampsia, the condition can also occur in women who have no risk factors and whose blood pressure was consistently normal prior to pregnancy.

Even more ominously, preeclampsia can begin to develop without any obvious symptoms. To identify the condition before it becomes severe, doctors must continually monitor an expectant mother’s blood pressure, weight, and overall health. Doctors should also order blood and urine tests as appropriate, checking for a decrease in blood platelet levels, an increase in urinary protein levels, or an impairment in liver function.

In addition to preeclampsia and eclampsia, other common causes of maternal death during delivery can include:

  • Placenta previa
  • Placental abruption
  • Uterine rupture
  • Antepartum hemorrhage
  • Postpartum hemorrhage
  • Amniotic fluid embolism
  • Cervical polyps, which may lead to cervical cancer
  • C-section errors
  • Post-delivery infections
  • Blood clotting disorders related to pregnancy or delivery
  • Cardiac arrest caused by complications of pregnancy  
  • Failure to provide proper emergency care during delivery

When Does Maternal Death Constitute Wrongful Death in Maryland?

During delivery, health care providers have a duty to two patients: the mother and the child. They must exercise due care toward both, upholding the high standards of their profession and providing an appropriate course of treatment under the circumstances.

When a mother or child dies during labor or delivery, and the death is the result of a doctor or hospital’s negligence, the surviving family members may be able to recover wrongful death compensation .

Bringing a wrongful death claim typically requires testimony from an expert witness as to the relevant standard of medical care, as well as medical records and other evidence. The experienced team of birth injury and wrongful death attorneys at D’Amore Law can help by preparing your claim thoroughly while you and your family take the time you need to grieve and heal.

Talk to a Maryland Wrongful Death Lawyer at D’Amore Law Today

If you have lost a loved one due to negligence during childbirth, you may be entitled to substantial financial compensation pursuant to the medical malpractice and wrongful death laws in our state.

To find out whether you have a claim, we urge you to contact D’Amore Law as soon as possible. These cases take time to research and prepare, and strict time limits apply to the filing of wrongful death claims in Maryland. So please don’t delay. Call our office to talk about your options with our Baltimore wrongful death attorneys today.

Call 410-324-2000 or contact us online to get started with a free consultation.

Topic: Health

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