New Report Shows Maternal Deaths Are Up 27%
One of the goals of United Nations is the reduction of maternal mortality by 75% from 1990 to 2015. Most countries have succeeded in decreasing the death rates. In a report that was published in the September issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, the mortality rate in 48 states and Washington D.C. increased by 27%. This rate has even doubled between 2010- 2012. While the progress of maternal deaths (mortality) has been made to a curb in different countries, the United States’ rate of mortality has alarmingly increased.
The deaths of women that did not make it out of the delivery room have notably increased even when compared to other developing countries. The said rate has gotten the attention of people as to how the women of one of the most powerful and influential country die while in labor or suffer complications after giving birth to a newborn. The deaths have been increasing since the year 2000.
Different news and documentaries have been made to investigate and show the possible underlying health care problem. BBC’s ‘America First?’ series explored the social and issues of health about why a powerful country like the United States does not have a good performance in the international ranking.
Meet Domaniek Shephered, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a mother. She was a perfectly fine woman both physically and mentally (as described by her mother Patricia). She was a beautiful, powerful black woman that, according to her mom, was a star that was zapped out of this world. Domaniek was brought to a hospital as she was about to give birth to her child. She entered the delivery room and to her mother’s horror, she never came out alive.
Not surviving her son’s birth was painful for Domaniek’s mother and her loved ones. There were no signs, no chance to even bid goodbyes.
Domaniek had suffered complication after giving birth, an excessive blood loss (hemorrhage) after she gave birth in the hospital. Her child, Kollin, is a baby boy who will never get to see and experience the motherly affection from Domaniek. The hospital that handled her delivery said that they have done everything they could in such rare complication. Despite the hospital’s statement about her case, the family felt that they could have explained better as to how a healthy mother like Domaniek could die out of some complication.
One possible reason for the increase in maternal death rate is the access to health care. It is reported that the highest rate of maternal mortality is also the same State with the highest proportion of people with no health insurance as stated by BBC’s Aleem Maqbool. This state would be Texas. Another finding of investigation is that there is a confusing mixture of hospital protocols in dealing with the serious complications that turn the simple ones into dangerous situations. There could also be the unpreparedness of hospitals for maternal emergencies.
There is also a finding that the funding of Federal and State shows only a percentage of six when it comes to blocking grants for the maternal and child health that goes to the mother.
It is also in the United States that the doctors specialized in the growing maternal-fetal medicine have completed their training without actually spending time in a unit for labor and delivery. Findings also reveal that the new mothers are older than usual with more complicated medical history. With half of the pregnancies unplanned, many women have not addressed the chronic health issues they’ve had. There is greater prevalence when it comes to C-sections. This leads to complications that are more dangerous. The health system makes it hard for these new mothers, especially the ones without good insurance, to get the proper care they need. The confusion about recognizing and treating the symptoms and obstetric emergencies make the caregivers prone to mistakes.
The story of Domaniek is just a face among all the other maternal mortality out there. People fear that if this problem is not handled, Domaniek will not be the last maternal mortality. There will be more deaths to come in the United States and it can even beat its own record on having such numbers.
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