84% of Pregnancy Related Deaths Deemed “Preventable” per CDC

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 84% of pregnancy-related deaths in the United States are preventable. A new report analyzed data from the Maternal Mortality Review Committees (MMRCs) covering 36 states over a 3-year period. It included review of over 1,000 pregnancy-related deaths. A Philadelphia birth injury lawyer shares information regarding the findings of this report and what to do if your loved one suffered a wrongful death from a pregnancy related injury.

Preventable Pregnancy Deaths

When Do Pregnancy Related Deaths Occur?

Over half of the deaths occurred between 7 days and 1 year postpartum.  Twenty-five percent occurred during pregnancy, and 22% happened on the date of delivery. Complications can arise at any time during, pregnancy, labor, or during the postpartum period, so physicians must be diligent in their monitoring of pregnant and recently pregnant women.

What Underlying Causes of Pregnancy Related Deaths Were Identified?

Mental health conditions, including deaths related to substance abuse disorders or suicide, made up the largest percentage of underlying causes. Top causes of pregnancy related deaths include:

  • Mental health conditions
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Infections
  • Heart Conditions
  • Thrombotic embolism
  • Cardiomyopathy

According to a Philadelphia birth injury lawyer, many of these deaths could be prevented with proper prenatal monitoring and appropriate medical interventions during and after delivery. The CDC emphasizes that health care systems need to listen more closely to pregnant women, or those who have recently been pregnant, to avoid serious pregnancy-related complications such as birth injuries.

Racial Minorities Disproportionately Impacted

Women of black and Hispanic rate of disproportionately impacted by maternal mortality. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reported a 18% increase in mortality, but this increase was most greatly concentrated in Hispanic and Black women. Hispanic women suffered a 44% increase in mortality, and black women suffered a 26% increase in mortality during this time period, according to a study published in JAMA. A Philadelphia birth injury lawyer advocates that physicians and hospitals treating pregnant women must offer appropriate medical care during pregnancy, during labor and delivery, and during postpartum to address this problem.

Government Officials Speak Out

Vice President Kamala Harris has spoken out about maternal health issues, such as maternal injuries and birth injuries. In addressing the maternal health crisis, she writes:

“Far too many women experience pain, neglect, and loss during what should be one of the most joyous times of their lives.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention echoes that health systems and doctors have to do a better job in caring and monitoring pregnancy women. A news release from the CDC states:

“The majority of pregnancy-related deaths were preventable, highlighting the need for quality improvement initiatives in states, hospitals, and communities that ensure all people who are pregnant or postpartum get the right care at the right time.”

Common Preventable Maternal and Fetal Birth Injuries

Doctors should conduct appropriate prenatal testing to identify maternal conditions that can increase the risk of birth injuries. Failure to perform appropriate testing may be negligent and put the mother or child at great risk of birth injuries. Prenatal testing, when appropriately ordered by a health care provider, can help identify problems with both the mother and baby such as:

  • Fetal macrosomia (baby is very large)
  • Preeclampsia
  • Placental abruption
  • Maternal infections
  • Umbilical cord issues
  • Abnormal fetal heart rate
  • Intrauterine growth restriction

When doctors and medical professionals neglect to act according to professional standards, they should be held liable when an injury results. The Philadelphia birth injury attorneys at our firm can represent families that have been harmed by a maternal or birth injury and seek compensation for their damages.

Contact the Philadelphia birth injury lawyers at the Wieand Law Firm, LLC Today

Women count on medical professionals to guide them through pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postpartum care. When doctors and other health care providers fail to take appropriate steps to monitor their health, reduce risks, and act according to standards, the result is often poor outcomes for the mother or child. The Philadelphia birth injury lawyers at the Wieand Law Firm, LLC have extensive experience working on these types of cases and understand the legal complexities that they entail.

Our attorneys offer a free consultation to meet with your family, either virtually or in person, to thoroughly discuss your case and the legal options available to you. We understand that birth injuries and maternal injuries can wreak havoc on your family and that you need time to focus on recovery. Our attorneys will handle all aspects of your case, so that you can focus on getting better or helping your child. Call 215-666-7777 today, or send us a message via the online form in order to speak directly with an attorney.


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