Texas Ranks as Highest Maternal Mortality Rate in Developed World

For a state that offers world-class medicine, and is home to the Houston Medical Center, Texas should be profoundly ashamed of its ranking in a very important index of obstetrical care.

According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Texas has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world.

You read that correctly. Among the advanced, industrialized nations in the world, more women per capita die from pregnancy-related complications in Texas than anywhere else.

Between 2010 and 2014, the maternal death rate in Texas doubled. The journal said that such a sharp spike was difficult to explain, “in the absence of war, natural disaster, or severe economic upheaval.”

There are many factors that combine to cause this deplorable situation, not the least of which is lack of access to care. After all, Texas leads the nation in the number of uninsured residents.

But another factor is medical negligence. There does not appear to be any good data on the role malpractice plays in maternal death in the United States. A Pakistani study found that 8 percent of obstetrical deaths in that country were attributable to poor obstetrical care.

There is plenty of evidence that medical negligence is at an epidemic level here. A study of errors in U.S. intensive care units found that the average patient was the victim of 1.7 mistakes per day. And in 1995, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that 280,000 Americans die each year from mistakes in U.S. hospitals, producing a death rate that exceeds that of all other accidents combined.

At Hampton & King, we have decades of experience successfully representing the families of women who have died during and after childbirth. Please look at our representative cases for examples and call us for a free consultation.

Categories: Birth Injuries