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60% of Maternal Mortality cases in U.S. are Completely Preventable, CDC Reports

A report released by the CDC in 2019 highlights one of the most tragic consequences of missed or delayed diagnoses. About 700 mothers die during pregnancy and childbirth-related complications in the U.S. every year, and according to the CDC, up to 60% of these deaths are preventable.

Preventable deaths occur due to a lack of access to health care, missed warning signs, and missed or delayed diagnoses. Some studies have shown that as many as 40% of American women never receive postpartum care from a healthcare provider, leading to countless unnecessary deaths.

“Every death reflects a web of missed opportunities,” wrote the CDC in the report.


Maternal Mortality and African Americans

African American women, statistics show, are particularly vulnerable – and die from pregnancy-related causes at three to four times the rate of Caucasian women.

The United States has the highest mortality rate in the developed world – even higher than countries like Libya and Kazakhstan. The United States is also the only developed nation in the world that does not offer maternity leave, which means that some new moms are forced to return to work at just two weeks postpartum.

Maternal mortality also affects women up to a year after childbirth, according to the CDC report, and a full 33% of those deaths happen at some point in the first year after women have given birth. When a death happens in the postpartum period it can be because of a health condition created or made worse by the pregnancy and/or complications from childbirth. High blood pressure, infection, and severe bleeding were the most common causes of maternal death in the week following childbirth, while weakened heart muscles were the most common cause of death for fatalities that occurred at some point in the first year after birth.

Statistics on Maternal Mortality Malpractice

- Approximately one-third of deaths (31%) happened during pregnancy;
- Approximately one-third (36%) happened at delivery or in the week after; and
- Approximately one-third (33%) happened 1 week to 1 year postpartum.

- Heart disease and stroke cause the most deaths overall.

- Obstetric emergencies, like severe bleeding and amniotic fluid embolism (when fluid enters a mother’s bloodstream), cause most deaths at delivery.

- In the week after delivery, severe bleeding, high blood pressure and infection are most common.

- Cardiomyopathy (weakened heart muscle) is the leading cause of death one-week to one-year after delivery.

- Pregnancy-related deaths in the United States steadily increased from 7.2 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1987 to 16.9 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2016.

- Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is the leading cause of maternal mortality. National statistics suggest that approximately 11.4% of maternal deaths are caused by PPH.

- A recent study from the CDC Foundation notes that hospitals may be able to prevent up to 70% of hemorrhage-related obstetric deaths. This means that, with the right strategies, one of the most common causes of maternal mortality can be drastically reduced. Since black women have greater risk of death from postpartum hemorrhage than white women, improving postpartum hemorrhage care has significant implications for improving health equity.


Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)
Science Clips


What You Can Do If You Suspect Medical Malpractice

If you feel you or a family member have incurred needless pain, suffering or additional injury as the result of the carelessness or mistakes of a doctor, medical facility or other medical professional, then you may have a case for malpractice. Medical professionals and facilities are insured for their mistakes. You deserve the experience of The Vrdolyak Law Group.

The best advice we can give you regarding Medical Malpractice is this: if you suspect that you or a family member have suffered as a result of insufficient, improper or inappropriate medical treatment then contact The Vrdolyak Law Group for a FREE CONSULTATION with an experienced Medical Malpractice attorney.

Call 844-4-VLG-LAW

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