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Pregnancy Complication Rate Varies Widely Between U.S. Hospitals

A new study has found that the odds of a woman having an obstetric complication depends on where she delivers her baby in the United States. The author of the study, a health outcomes researcher at the University of Rochester, said that “there is a significant variability in maternal outcomes across U.S. hospitals.”

The study examined 750,000 childbirths around the country. According to the research, about 13 percent of all deliveries have a complication, but the rate can vary up to five-fold between different hospitals.

The research categorized hospitals into three groups based the rate of major complications during delivery: low, average, and high-performing. Women who underwent a cesarean delivery at low-performing hospitals were five times more at risk for lacerations, bleeding, clots or infections than women who had the procedure done at a high-performing hospital. Complications occurred 21 percent of the time at low-performing hospitals, on average, compared to 4.4 percent at high-performing medical centers. Women who delivered vaginally were also two times more at risk for complications at the low-performing hospitals than at those consider high-performing.

The researchers were surprised by the study results and endorsed a plan to create a national quality reporting system that could help to improve obstetric outcomes.

If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy or other injuries you believe to be a result of trauma during delivery or other mismanagement of the pregnancy, your child may be eligible for compensation through a birth injury lawsuit. The attorneys at Lopez McHugh, LLP have many years of experience and proven success in litigating medical malpractice and birth injury lawsuits. Contact Lopez McHugh, LLP for a free case evaluation.