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5/14/17

USA: Childbirth Death Rate: What You Should Know About America’s High Rate Of Maternal Mortality – by Mary Beth Quirk

When you think about fatalities during childbirth, your mind may immediately leap to infant deaths. But although it’s much safer to give birth in America now than say, 100 years ago, women are dying from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes at a higher rate than any other country in the developed world.

An in-depth investigation into maternal mortality by NPR and ProPublica highlights the tragic story of a neonatal nurse who died less than a day after giving birth in the hospital where she works. It’s a tale more common in this country than you might think, even with medical innovations and improved living standards in the modern era.

While we highly recommend reading NPR and ProPublica’s investigative report in its entirety, here are just a few of the things we learned about maternal mortality in the U.S.:  700 to 900 women die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes every year in the U.S.: And about 65,000 women nearly die, the investigation found, resulting in the worst rate of maternal deaths in the developed world. Of those, 60% are preventable, according to an analysis by the CDC Foundation.

Maternal deaths are on the rise in America: While maternal deaths increased from 2000 to 2014 in the U.S., rates went down in every other wealthy country — and many less affluent ones, the report found.

In the United Kingdom, for example, journal Lancet noted that the rate has gone down so dramatically that “a man is more likely to die while his partner is pregnant than she is.”

Read more: What You Should Know About America’s High Rate Of Maternal Mortality – Consumerist

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