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About 84 Percent of Pregnancy-Related Deaths Preventable


THURSDAY, Sept. 22, 2022 (HealthDay News) — A total of 1,108 pregnancy-related deaths were identified from 2017 to 2019, and 84 percent were determined to be preventable, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Maternal Mortality Review Committee.

Susanna Trost, M.P.H., from the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in Atlanta, and colleagues reviewed data on pregnancy-related deaths among residents of 36 states from 2017 to 2019 using the Maternal Mortality Review Information Application.

The researchers identified 1,018 pregnancy-related deaths from 2017 to 2019. Among deaths for which timing in relation to pregnancy was known, about 22, 25, 23, and 30 percent occurred during pregnancy, on the day of delivery or within a week after delivery, from day 7 to 42 postpartum, and in the late postpartum period, respectively. An underlying cause of death was identified for 987 deaths; the most common underlying causes were mental health conditions, hemorrhage, cardiac and coronary conditions, infection, thrombotic embolism, and cardiomyopathy (22.7, 13.7, 12.8, 9.2, 8.7, and 8.5 percent, respectively), with the leading underlying cause varying by race and ethnicity. Of 996 deaths for which a preventability determination was made, 84 percent were determined to be preventable.

“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,” Wanda Barfield, M.D., M.P.H., from the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, said in a statement.

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