Study shows U.S. is a dangerous place to give birth

Published: Jul. 31, 2018 at 5:29 PM CDT
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Complications during child birth can cause life-altering injuries or sometimes even be fatal.

The United States is coined as the most dangerous place to give birth in the developed world, according to a study done by USA Today.

It shows thousands of women suffer injuries or die during childbirth because hospital workers may skip some safety practices.

According to the study, doctors and nurses should be weighing bloody pads to track blood loss so they recognize the danger sooner. They should be giving medication within an hour of spotting dangerously high blood pressure to fend off strokes. It says these are among basic tasks that experts have recommended for years because they can save mothers’ lives.

Yet hospitals, doctors and nurses across the country continue to ignore them, USA Today found.

As a result, women are left to bleed until their organs shut down. Their high blood pressure goes untreated until they suffer strokes. They die of preventable blood clots and untreated infections. Survivors can be left paralyzed or unable to have more children.

Registered nurse at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, Katie Jelinek, says excessive postpartum hemorrhaging and preeclampsia are often two causes of maternal mortality.

“What it comes down to is close monitoring and having protocols in place,” said Jelinek.

She says lack of education could also be a root cause.

She says as a nurse, one of her biggest roles is educating mothers and showing them what kind of signs and symptoms to look for in not only their own bodies, but in their babies as well.

Jelinek says being aware of your body and taking extra precaution is always necessary after birth.

For more information on the study,