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Baltimore Maternal Death Medical Malpractice Lawyer

The loss of a mother due to medical malpractice is a profound hardship that may leave you searching for answers and justice. A Baltimore maternal death medical malpractice lawyer can provide the much-needed clarity and legal support in the aftermath of such a tragedy.

If you’ve lost a mother due to medical malpractice, you’re not alone. Call Peter Angelos Law at 410-216-0009 for immediate legal guidance. Our experienced Baltimore maternal death medical malpractice lawyers are here to provide the clarity and support you need during this tragedy.

Don’t wait—call now for the answers and justice your family deserves.

Understanding Maternal Death In Baltimore

Maternal death remains a serious concern in Baltimore and throughout the wider Maryland state. The alarming statistics show that each year in the United States, between 700 to 900 women die from causes related to pregnancy or childbirth. This fact ranks childbearing as the sixth leading cause of death among women aged 20 to 34. The Maryland Maternal Mortality Review Program, an initiative launched to investigate all pregnancy-related deaths in the state, plays a significant role. The program’s objective is to identify prevention strategies and ways to improve health care practices.

Our state’s commitment to addressing this issue is evident in its support of the March of Dimes Report Card. This measure evaluates the support given to birthing people in Maryland, with a particular focus on tackling maternal mortality. Despite these efforts, the unfortunate reality remains that many maternal deaths are preventable and are often linked to medical malpractice in Baltimore, making the role of Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers critical in seeking justice.

Common Causes Of Maternal Death

Several factors prominently contribute to maternal mortality, such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Sepsis
  • Hemorrhage
  • Placenta accreta

Obstetric hemorrhage, a leading cause of severe maternal morbidity in Maryland, highlights the need for accurate diagnosis and prompt intervention.

Unfortunately, diagnostic gaps and delayed recognition of clinical warning signs contribute to preventable maternal morbidity and mortality. For instance, diagnosing maternal hemorrhage accurately requires awareness of risk factors and early signs of hypovolemia. Delayed escalations of care during maternal hemorrhage can exacerbate the condition, leading to potential death.

Obstetric medical errors often stem from delays in diagnosis, initiating treatment, and referral or transfer of the patient, leading to preventable deaths. Risks like lack of skilled manpower, insufficient diagnostic tools, and poor quality antenatal care contribute to medication errors that negatively impact maternal health.

Clinician-level factors are also significantly associated with severe maternal morbidity events, highlighting the need for focused quality improvement interventions at this level. Untreated preeclampsia, for instance, is a major condition that leads to poor maternal outcomes during pregnancy.

Preventable Maternal Deaths

The staggering fact that 80% of maternal deaths are preventable emphasizes the urgent need for enhanced healthcare practices. The Severe Maternal Morbidity (SMM) surveillance and review program plays a pivotal role in analyzing and understanding the preventability of maternal mortality.

Immediate strategies for reducing SMM and improving maternal health outcomes include:

  • Targeting common causes and addressing preventability factors identified at individual hospitals
  • Making changes in clinician-level factors
  • Implementing interventions in the antepartum period

These strategies could significantly alter results and reduce the incidences of preventable maternal deaths connected to medical malpractice.

Improving the standard and delivery of maternal health care is a matter of life and death.

Families affected by preventable maternal deaths need the support and experience of a Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer and Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys to help and seek justice.

Types Of Medical Malpractice Leading To Maternal Death

Medical malpractice encompasses negligent practices that stray from the expected standard of care between healthcare providers and patients. These errors can include a failure to diagnose a disease, prescribing incorrect medication, or providing inadequate warnings, all of which demonstrate a departure from the standard medical care resulting in harm to the patient. In such cases, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be filed to recover compensation for the damages suffered.

Negligent practices by health care providers may lead to worsening symptoms, and adverse medical complications, and can escalate to maternal death. During labor and delivery, medical malpractice may include errors such as negligence in monitoring fetal heart rates or failing to detect signs of fetal distress, thereby contributing to maternal mortality.

Misdiagnosis Or Delayed Diagnosis

Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, particularly during pregnancy, can lead to severe consequences. Serious complications and potential medical malpractice cases can result from failure to promptly or accurately diagnose conditions like:

  • Gestational diabetes
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Preeclampsia
  • Anemia
  • Rh-incompatibility

These errors can lead to the worsening of the patient’s condition and premature death. Cognitive biases and communication breakdowns within the health care team are significant factors that can affect a health care provider’s diagnostic accuracy, potentially leading to fatal consequences.

Improving the diagnostic process through hospital-wide safety bundles and health care simulation can address vulnerabilities such as inadequate recognition of acuity and inappropriate treatment.

Medication Errors

Another significant type of medical malpractice leading to severe consequences, including maternal death, is a medical error. Such medical errors encompass:

  • Administering or prescribing incorrect medication
  • Mislabeling medication instructions
  • Ignoring allergies to prescribed medication
  • Pharmacist errors
  • Incorrect dosages

Systematic issues, delays in health care delivery and inadequate communication can also result in medication errors, increasing the risk of maternal mortality.

Preventative measures, including the availability of trained staff, adequate team training, and the presence of necessary equipment and medications, are crucial in preventing medication-related errors.

Labor And Delivery Errors

Labor and delivery errors represent a major concern when considering maternal death. Errors such as:

  • Failing to timely convert a mother for a C-section in response to fetal distress
  • Inadequate resuscitation of the newborn
  • Physical harm during delivery
  • Failure to manage shoulder dystocia

These errors can have fatal outcomes for the mother.

Mismanagement of a breech delivery can also lead to maternal death. Similarly, improper attention to early warning signs of preeclampsia and the failure to request diagnostic tests and provide necessary treatments can result in severe complications or death.

Inadequate monitoring of labor, failure to recognize complications, and insufficient follow-up in the postoperative or postpartum period are contributing factors to maternal deaths during childbirth. A lack of 24/7 on-site presence of an obstetrician or anesthesiologist can lead to delays and errors in medical interventions, thus increasing the risk of maternal death.

Legal Rights And Recourse For Victims Of Maternal Death Medical Malpractice

Victims of maternal death due to medical malpractice or their legal representatives have legal rights and recourse, including the right to:

  • File a complaint in a suitable court
  • Consultation with an experienced attorney to evaluate the validity of their claim
  • Initiate a medical malpractice claim in Maryland by filing a certificate of a qualified expert within 90 days of filing a complaint, attesting to a departure from the standard of care.

The defendant must file a certificate of a qualified expert within 120 days from when the plaintiff serves their certificate, confirming adherence to standard care or explaining the departure from it. A claim may be dismissed if the plaintiff fails to file a certificate of a qualified expert, although the court can modify or waive this requirement for valid reasons.

Victims of medical malpractice can seek financial compensation in the form of compensatory damages, which encompass economic damages for out-of-pocket expenses, and noneconomic damages for harm such as pain and suffering. Economic damages can include medical bills and lost income, while noneconomic damages are capped at $845,000 in Maryland for cases after October 1, 2017.

Please be aware that legal regulations, including potential dollar amounts, may change over time. Consult with a legal professional from Peter Angelos Law to ensure accuracy in your specific situation.

Filing A Wrongful Death Lawsuit

In Maryland, a wrongful death lawsuit must be initiated by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate, focusing on gathering evidence and identifying responsible parties. The right to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Maryland is typically reserved for immediate family members such as spouses, children, or parents, with siblings also potentially eligible.

To establish liability in a wrongful death lawsuit due to medical malpractice, the following elements must be proven:

  1. The defendant owed a professional duty to the decedent.
  2. The defendant breached that duty by acting unreasonably.
  3. The breach of duty is shown by evidence that the defendant’s treatment deviated from the accepted standard of care in the medical community.

For a successful claim, it must be established that the breach of the standard of care directly caused the injury or death and that the negligence was a substantial cause of the injuries resulting in death.

If this breach in duty of care caused an injury or the worsening of an illness, it might be classified as medical malpractice. This is laid out in state statute Maryland Annotated Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings §3-2A. The Medical Malpractice Act states: “All claims, suits, and actions … by a person against a health care provider for medical injury allegedly suffered by the person … are subject to and shall be governed by the provisions of this act”.

Expert testimony is often necessary to establish the standard of care and explain how the defendant’s action or inaction deviated from that standard.

Statute Of Limitations

The statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims in Maryland is generally five years from the time the malpractice occurred or three years from when the injury should have been discovered, whichever is earlier. The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit related to medical malpractice in Maryland is three years from the date of the deceased’s passing.

Exceptions to the general statute of limitations include:

  • An extended timeframe of up to five years for out-of-state residents who were treated in Maryland
  • Tolling for minors who have until age 21 to file
  • The statute is being paused for those mentally incapacitated due to medical errors until they regain capacity.

Potential plaintiffs must be aware of these time limitations to preserve evidence and secure justice promptly.

Seek Support With Peter Angelos Law

We approach medical malpractice cases with meticulous attention to detail and care. Our goal is to give each medical malpractice case the attention it rightly deserves. Maternal death due to medical malpractice is a distressing reality that underscores the urgent need for improved health care practices and legal recourse.

From understanding the common causes of maternal death to identifying the types of medical malpractice that can lead to these tragic results, it is clear that families affected by preventable maternal deaths need the support and experience of dedicated Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys.

At Peter Angelos Law, we are dedicated to seeking justice for victims of maternal death due to medical negligence. Our firm’s track record of recovering substantial compensation for our clients attests to our commitment and experience in handling medical malpractice cases. With our unique advantage of having a physician on our staff and established relations with expert witnesses, we handle Maryland medical malpractice cases with precision and care.

We encourage anyone affected by maternal death due to medical malpractice to reach out to us at 410-216-0009 for a free consultation to explore their legal options. Let us help you on your journey towards justice.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I accuse my doctor of malpractice?

To accuse your doctor of malpractice, you must first establish a clear doctor-patient relationship. Then, it’s necessary to provide evidence of substandard care and negligence, demonstrating that such negligence directly caused significant harm. In this complex process, an attorney can be instrumental in helping to gather and present evidence, consulting medical experts, and navigating the legal system to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.

What are the leading causes of maternal mortality?

The leading causes of maternal mortality include heart disease, sepsis, hemorrhage, and placenta. These factors contribute significantly to the risk of maternal death.

What are some missed diagnoses of medical conditions during pregnancy that can have grave consequences?

Missed diagnoses of conditions like gestational diabetes, hypoglycemia, preeclampsia, anemia, and Rh-incompatibility during pregnancy can lead to serious complications. Health care providers need to be vigilant in screening for these conditions to ensure the well-being of both the mother and the baby.

Can I file a medical malpractice claim for maternal death even if the death occurred several years ago?

The ability to file a medical malpractice claim for maternal death is subject to the statute of limitations, which in Maryland is generally five years from the time the malpractice occurred or three years from when the injury should have been discovered, whichever is earlier. However, there are exceptions and special circumstances that may extend this period. It is crucial to consult with a Baltimore maternal death medical malpractice lawyer to determine if your case is still eligible for a claim based on the specific details and timing of the incident.