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Very pregnant African American woman sits in the back seat of a compact car holding her belly in pain

Are There Racial Disparities Regarding Birth Injuries?

Birth injuries are a serious issue in the United States. While women of all shapes, colors, and sizes endure birth injuries, the rates at which mothers and their babies sustain these injuries are not at all equal.

Keep reading to learn more about racial disparities in birth injuries.

Racial Disparities Exist in Birth Injuries

According to a study conducted by the United States Department of Health & Human Services Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “Approximately 700 women die annually in the United States as a result of pregnancy or its complications; racial/ethnic disparities exist.”

As you can see from the graph below, Black and Native American women are significantly more likely to endure pregnancy-related deaths per 100,000 births than White, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander women.

pregnancy-related deaths per 100,000 live births by race

Over time, racial disparities have persisted throughout age groups and exist even in states with the lowest pregnancy-related mortality rates and among people with higher education levels.

Multiple Factors are to Blame

An average of three to four contributing factors are to blame for the racial disparities in birth injuries. Virtually all levels have been identified to contribute to birth injuries, including:

  • Community
  • Health facility
  • Patient/family
  • Provider
  • System

The CDC states that “Chronic diseases associated with increased risk for pregnancy-related mortality (e.g., hypertension) are more prevalent and less well controlled in Black women.”

Systemic Factors

The following systemic factors are believed to exacerbate birth injury racial disparities:

  • Gaps in health care coverage and preventative care
  • Lack of coordinated health care
  • Social services

Community Factors

The following community factors are believed to exacerbate birth injury racial disparities:

  • Securing transportation for medical visits
  • Inadequate housing

We’re Here to Help

Don’t allow those who’ve acted negligently to get away with their behavior. Once you’ve sought the treatment, support, and care you need for you and/or your baby, it’s important to understand your legal rights and options. Our team here at Dempsey & Kingsland, P.C. is highly skilled in the area of birth injury medical malpractice law and has helped many other people just like you obtain justice. Let us see if we can help you, too. Don’t delay—reach out to our office with your case right away.

Call Dempsey & Kingsland, P.C. today at (816) 484-3776 or contact us online for a free consultation regarding your case.