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Decline in locations, quality medical care for pregnant PA women?

Recent trends in healthcare costs consolidation and the effects of government-run healthcare are being felt around Pennsylvania. Of the 124 obstetric clinic that once occupied Pennsylvania, 28 clinics have been lost. Obstetric clinics provide medical care to expecting mothers. What this means for some PA women who are expecting is not favorable for them or their child.

Some areas of the state now have no obstetric unit within 50 miles of them. For women who are in a high-risk pregnancy, this could spell disaster. According to a study released by the University of Minnesota, about 7 percent of rural hospitals around the country closed obstetric units between 2010 and 2014. They closed due to high cost vs. revenue, staffing challenges and declining birth rates. What is scary for women expecting in rural Pennsylvania areas is that there is a direct correlation to distance traveled to care facility and complicated deliveries, prematurity and higher costs of neonatal care.

This is true according to a similar study out of Canada. What all this means is that women expecting children are a group of patients with higher risk of complications or even doctor error or hospital negligence. Rarely, in situations of medical malpractice, is there a malicious intent by the doctor or treating facility to render harm. However, many know that it can happen. Pregnant women in the state need to be on high alert due to the change in obstetric options and, thus, medical care.

While there isn't a surefire way to prevent an injury occurring from medical malpractice, there are a few things expecting mothers can do. Attending all doctor's appointments is a great place to start. This gives your doctor the opportunity to diagnose any conditions or plans for delivery. This can help promote health and safety of mother and child.

Source: mcall.com, "Maternity wards few and far between in some part of Pennsylvania," Nick Keppler, May 1, 2016

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