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CDC Releases Report on Maternal Birth Injuries and Pregnancy-Related Fatalities


The discussion and disturbing statistics on birth injuries often center on the harm to the fetus or newborn infant, but pregnancy and childbirth can be just as risky for the mother. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a report on Pregnancy-Related Deaths, covering the period from 2003-2017. The findings from data compiled from multiple sources reveal that 1 in 3 fatalities among women in the months prior to or within a year after giving birth were determined to be related to pregnancy. Over the 15-year study period, the figures indicate that more than 30 women per year died from pregnancy-related medical conditions.

A multitude of different causes are behind these fatalities, but some can be traced to health care provider error. While a Florida birth injury attorney can offer personalized information, you might benefit from reviewing the basics regarding pregnancy-related deaths.

Statistics on Pregnancy-Related Deaths: In its report, the CDC broke down the probability of pregnancy-related fatalities in terms of timing. The stated goal was to address the particular needs and risks for patients at different stages. Through this assessment, researchers discovered that two out of three women possessed at least one potentially deadly characteristic which could have been averted through treatment or other proactive response. In other words, a whopping two-thirds of all pregnancy-related deaths were preventable.

Based upon timing, the CDC noted the following breakdown:

  • 24 percent of fatalities occurred during pregnancy;
  • 34 percent of women died on delivery or within seven days thereafter;
  • 19 percent of deaths occurred 7-42 days after giving birth; and,
  • 24 percent of mothers passed away 43-365 days postpartum.

Causes and Contributing Factors to Pregnancy-Related Fatalities: The CDC did not point out specific instances where preventability was linked to a health care provider’s actions, but the report did indicate some of the causes. In 75 percent of all cases, the pregnancy-related death was due to:

  • Cardiovascular issues;
  • Hemorrhage;
  • Mental health, including postpartum depression;
  • Sepsis and other infections;
  • Preeclampsia; and,
  • Embolism.

While every case is different, many of these conditions may have been associated with a health care provider’s negligent acts or omissions. 

Legal Action for Maternal Birth Injuries and Pregnancy-Related Fatalities: If a loved one died from a pregnancy-related condition that you believe was preventable, you may have a wrongful death action based upon medical malpractice. It is necessary to prove that the doctor failed to provide care in accordance with generally accepted standards in the relevant medical field, and that this mistake was the cause of death. In a successful claim, you may be entitled to recover monetary damages for your economic losses, as well as various forms of pain and suffering.

Talk to a Florida Birth Injury Lawyer About Your Legal Options

Our Miami birth injury lawyers at Freidin Brown, P.A. have extensive experience handling birth injury cases, including claims involving preventable pregnancy-related harm to the mother. To learn more about how we can help recover compensation through medical malpractice remedies, please contact our offices. We can set up a free consultation to review your circumstances and determine how to proceed.




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