If you are a Black or Hispanic woman in America, a new study shows there’s a higher risk of developing a life-threatening condition while you’re in the hospital for delivery. The rate of mothers who suffer serious problems during childbirth, including death, is 70 percent higher than white women.
The research was conducted by the University of Michigan and will be published in the November issue of the Journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. Although complications happened in 1.6 percent of all deliveries in the study, it found that black and Latina women — even if they were healthy before pregnancy — suffer from severe birth-related health issues like blood clots, kidney failure, sepsis, eclampsia and heart failure at higher numbers in the delivery room.
According to the report, doctors need to pay special attention to Black and Hispanic patients. This includes listening to patients when they say they’re in pain and keeping in mind pre-existing or chronic health conditions (like asthma, diabetes, and hypertension) also create higher risks for needing emergency procedures done while hospitalized for childbirth.
Beyonce and Serena Williams have both spoken out publicly about their complications in the delivery room. Beyonce shared that she suffered from pre-eclampsia while pregnant with Rumi and Sir, and Serena revealed she developed blood clots in her lungs which opened the door to many other problems.
Lead study author and obstetrician, Dr. Lindsay Admon, said she thinks “it’s fantastic and important that two such strong high-profile women have come forward and shared their stories and it’s important we encourage women to do so.”
“We’re finally shedding a light on racial and ethnic disparities and if we continue to shed that light describing health status and outcomes among Hispanic and black women during birth, it will encourage a larger community of women to share their experience with families, communities and health care providers,” she told Daily Mail Online.
“To drive and target those changes, we need specific data like these,” she shared.
Via Daily Mail:
For the study, the team looked at national data regarding hospital stays between 2012 and 2015 from the National Inpatient Sample compiled by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP).
HCUP is a federal index that catalogs various hospital care data, including information on in-patient stays, ambulatory surgery and services visits, and emergency department encounters.
Of the 2.5 million women who gave birth during that period, 41,000 underwent an emergency procedure or were diagnosed with a life-threatening condition.
Looking at the 10 most common types of maternal morbidity, they found that blood transfusions, used mainly in women suffering a serious hemorrhage, were the most common.
Three-quarters of the 41,000 women who had a severe birth-related emergency had a blood transfusion.
Research showed 231 of every 10,000 births among non-Hispanic black women led to one of the severe problems, in comparison with 139 of every 10,000 births among non-Hispanic white women.