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Does the American Health Care System Place Women at Risk of Injury or Death?

September 4th, 2018
By Zach Christiansen of The Bowling Law Firm, A Professional Law Corporation on Tuesday, September 4, 2018.

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana. recently reported on new data released by the Centers for Disease Control revealing that younger women die earlier possibly due to issues with the U.S. health system. While there has been quite a bit of reporting on the role maternal death rates play in young women’s mortality, QZ claims that this is not the only cause of young women’s cause of death. Younger women are dying of cardiovascular conditions and strokes. According to QZ, 12% of women don’t have access to health insurance and Medicaid will only cover them during their pregnancy and for six weeks after. This means that doctors often find themselves seeing women with chronic problems for the first time when they learn they are pregnant.

Other problems such as liver disease, suicide, and other chronic illnesses also claim the lives of many women. Some of these women, when they visit the doctor, are simply falling through the cracks, either through misdiagnosis or due to lack of access to medical care.

According to Bustle, there are other problems as well. Bustle reports that women’s medical concerns are not often studied as often as men’s concerns. According to Bustle, while cardiovascular disease is the leading killer of women, only one third of clinical trials that include women provide results for women. This is unfortunate because women’s experience of cardiovascular disease has been shown to differ from men. Most notably, in recent news, we learned how women’s heart attacks can go undetected when doctors only look for symptoms most often tied to men’s heart attacks.

Women’s pain is more likely to be dismissed by doctors, and women may sometimes be treated using metrics designed for men. For example, doctors may not always be trained to consider sex differences when making diagnosis. This can lead to misdiagnosis.

When doctors fail to take women’s pain seriously, this can lead to misdiagnosis.

Another problem is that women continue to face problems accessing contraception, despite laws in place to make accessing contraception easier. Bustle reports that some women continue to be charged for contraception and sexual assault survivors may not always be offered emergency contraception in the emergency room. Given the high rates of maternal death in the U.S., prevention could go a long way to improving women’s health.

So, what can you do to protect yourself or your loved one? First off, know your rights. If you have health insurance, contraception should be free through your pharmacist. If you go to the doctor and a physician doesn’t appear to be taking your pain seriously, ask for another doctor, or go elsewhere if you can. Talk to family and friends about the importance of advocating for loved ones. Finally, if you believe medical malpractice led to misdiagnosis, injury, or a loved one’s death, you may have important rights under the law. The The Bowling Law Firm are medical malpractice attorneys in New Orleans, Louisiana who may be able to help you seek damages for your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering after an injury. Visit us at to learn more.

The Bowling Law Firm, A Professional Law Corporation

1615 Poydras Street, Suite 1050

New Orleans, Louisiana, 70112

Phone: (504) 586-5200

Toll Free: (504) 586-5200

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