Though the majority of births occur without incident, each year over 50,000 women are severely inured and approx. 700 die. As shown in the article by Alison Young that appeared today in USA Today, more than a half-million pages of internal hospital quality records regarding more than 150 women whose deliveries went terribly wrong have been obtained. Those documents and interviews revealed “a stunning lack of attention to safety recommendations and widespread failure to protect new mothers.” Such simple yet vital determinations as the amount of blood loss and whether mothers with dangerously high blood pressure received proper medication timely were overlooked. This lack of attention to life-saving measures has occurred in both large and small institutions as well as physicians’ offices when they failed to act on signs and/or symptoms of complications occurring during and after pregnancy.
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