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Study: 60% of maternal deaths are preventable

As Louisianans celebrate Mother's Day, it is easy to forget that birth is not an easy process. It can be outright dangerous with many factors contributing to a mother suffering serious injury or death as part of the birth or its aftermath.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 60% of fatalities linked to a pregnancy can be prevented. With that information, officials are watching for issues that result in maternal death. Annually, there are around 700 maternal deaths from pregnancy or complications from birth. Between 2011 and 2015, almost 31% of fatalities for mothers occurred while they were pregnant. 36% happened the day they delivered and as much as one a week after birth. 33% occurred one week to a full year post-delivery.

One-third of the deaths were due to a stroke or heart disease. Childbirth-related deaths were often caused by an embolism from amniotic fluid and significant bleeding. For those who died within a week after birth, causes included high blood pressure, severe blood loss and suffering from infections. After that, those who died within a year most commonly suffered from cardiomyopathy.

There has been an increase in maternal death in the past few decades simultaneous to those rates decreasing in most other countries around the world. Another study showed that every 100,000 live births in the U.S., there were more than 26 maternal deaths in 2015. Common problems that led to the fatalities were misdiagnosis and failure to provide timely treatment.

Childbirth is supposed to be a joyous moment for the family having the child. The excitement and happiness can frequently gloss over the legitimate dangers of injury and death for mother and child. As this research suggests, if there was a maternal fatality during or after childbirth, it is critical to understand how and why it happened. A law firm that understands medical malpractice and wrongful death should be contacted for advice about a legal filing for compensation.

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