Report: 3 in 5 US pregnancy related deaths are preventable

National

A new Centers for Disease Control report shows 60-percent of the approximately 700 pregnancy-related deaths in the US each year are preventable.

Pregnancy-related deaths don’t just occur during or immediately following birth, they can happen any time during pregnancy and up to a year later.

36-percent do happen the day of delivery or the week after, generally from complications directly related to the delivery.

Another third of deaths happen during pregnancy and 33-percent more than a week later.

During pregnancy, those deaths are frequently caused by underlying conditions like heart disease or high blood pressure.

A weakening of the heart muscle called cardiomyopathy is the most common cause more than a week after delivery.

Experts say better access to care and better awareness of possible complications among healthcare providers could lead to fewer deaths.

Black women are three times more likely to suffer from pregnancy-related deaths than white women and Native American women are two-and-half times more likely.

But according to the Maternal Mortality Review Committee, about 60-percent of deaths are preventable, regardless of ethnicity.

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