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Women suffer high rates of medical malpractice after giving birth

Giving birth is often a joyful and empowering moment for California mothers, but for some, it can also be the start of serious medical complications. Undiagnosed birth injuries are startlingly high for women. Perhaps even more troubling is that the full impact of this type of medical malpractice might still not be fully understood.

University researchers recently conducted a study that led them to compare childbirth to the act of completing a marathon. However, there is no training for women to prepare for giving birth. The researchers performed MRIs on a group of women who had given birth within the past seven weeks and looked for possible injuries that might have gone undiagnosed at their six-week checkup. They found that 41 percent of the women had suffered tears in the muscles of their pelvic floor that had not been properly diagnosed. Another 29 percent of the group had fractured pubic bones that had also gone undiagnosed.

An out-of-state woman did not discover that her pelvic floor muscles had been damaged to the point of uselessness until eight years after giving birth. During that time she experienced worsening incontinence that led to her leaving her job, isolating herself from friends and giving up on her favorite method of exercise -- running. An undiagnosed tear in her pelvic floor had caused her to develop vaginal prolapse. Over half of all women who suffer from vaginal prolapse have shown evidence of having some type of undiagnosed tear from childbirth.

For most California mothers, the final aspect of postpartum care occurs at six weeks. When a serious condition or injury goes undiagnosed, women can develop serious and worsening health conditions that affect every other aspect of life. Medical malpractice suits are often a suitable choice for seeking compensation related to these types of injuries. When successful, victims can utilize the resulting recourse for related medical bills as well as long-lasting pain and suffering.

Source: Cosmopolitan, "Millions Of Women Are Injured During Childbirth. Why Aren't Doctors Diagnosing Them?", Laura Beil, July 18, 2016

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