CDC: Over Half of Pregnancy-related Deaths Could Be Prevented with Better Health Care

A report released by the Centers for Disease control on May 7 has revealed that if better medical care was provided, three out of five maternal deaths in the United States could be prevented. It also confirms previously established disparities in maternal deaths, noting that Black, American Indian, and Alaska Native mothers are three times more likely to die from birth-related complications than white mothers.

Pregnancy deaths can occur anytime during pregnancy, labor and delivery, or up to one year after birth. From 2011-2015:

  • 31 percent of maternal deaths occurred during pregnancy.
  • 36 percent occurred during or up to one week after delivery.
  • 33 percent occurred one week to one year after delivery.

The report offers a number of suggestions for healthcare providers to minimize the risk of maternal death:

During Pregnancy: Increase the quality of prenatal care by managing chronic conditions and informing mothers of warning signs of complications.

At Labor/Delivery: Standardize care and use specialized providers and equipment during high-risk deliveries.

Postpartum: Continue to communicate with mothers about warning signs and complications and provide high-quality aftercare for a year after birth.

The leading causes of maternal death include:

  • Cardiomyopathy (weakened heart muscle)
  • Stroke
  • Blood loss during delivery
  • Aggravation of unrelated medical condition
  • High blood pressure

At Baron, Herskowitz, and Cohen, we have extensive experience in representing families who are victims of malpractice during childbirth and following delivery. If you or a loved one is suffering because of poor birth-related medical care, please call our office for help. To learn more, contact our office by calling 1-305-670-0101 today.

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