A recent New York Times editorial caught my eye about a woman in Pakistan who lost her baby after a long, difficult labor and delivery. Her experience was used to demonstrate the lack of emphasis placed on medical practices that we in America take for granted, such as giving birth to your child at a hospital, and the effect that this has on maternal and child birth injuries in impoverished countries.
Recent research suggests that worldwide perhaps as many as one woman dies every minute from complications of pregnancy or childbirth, which is about 20 times greater than the number who have suffered childbirth injuries. As a firm we have taken on several Illinois birth injury cases and there are no words you can offer the family for their loss and pain. What is so striking about The New York Times article is that it suggests that these startling statistics could improve if more emphasis was placed on maternal well being.
For example, while Sri Lanka is an impoverished country it has succeeded in saving more mothers because it simply has tried to do so. And while this sounds like an oversimple solution in our country where a great deal of emphasis is placed on prenatal care and delivery, in impoverished countries this is not the case. The girl portrayed in the article was not taken to a hospital until after she had already been in labor for over 24 hours. By the time a c-section was performed her baby was already too weak to survive. If she had been taken to the hospital and followed by medical professionals from the start of her labor then the outcome might have been different. Yet this is not the standard in her native Pakistan, where one in 74 woman die from pregnancy complications.
Traditions and expense are two major factors keeping impoverished countries from utilizing modern medicine during childbirth. However, a movement among the United Nations is attempting to work to change this by setting up a global health session that focuses on maternal health. The movement is in its infancy and is being championed by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
And while birth injuries in America and locally in Illinois and Chicago are not as high as in certain impoverished countries they are still far too common. When dealing with maternal and fetal health it is important to follow a strict health routine, maintain regular physician visits, and communicate any concerns with your doctor.
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Chicago birth injury cases for over 30 years, serving areas in and around Cook County, including Oak Lawn, Downers Grove, Des Plaines, and Wilmette.