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How common are maternal deaths in the United States?

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2023 | Medical Malpractice |

Once upon a time, women died so often in childbirth or shortly after that expectant mothers were pretty much expected to write their wills, just in case.

That seems like something out of the veritable dark ages of human history, long before modern medicine made giving birth a much easier, safer process – but is it?

The U.S. has a tragic problem with maternal fatalities

Living in the United States, where hospitals are everywhere, it’s easy to believe that childbirth is a fairly safe and routine process, but it isn’t. In fact, the United States has the highest rate of maternal deaths among all developed nations.

More tragic still, the vast majority of the deaths are entirely preventable. For example, postpartum hemorrhages and cardiovascular and coronary events are two of the most common reasons for pregnancy-related deaths. About 70% and 68.2% (respectively) of those deaths never should have happened.

The news gets even worse if you happen to be a woman of color in the U.S. and are looking at the odds of surviving childbirth. While there are an average of 23.8 deaths for every 100,000 births, that number jumps to 55.3 deaths per 100,000 births if you consider Black mothers alone. This indicates that there is either a lack of access to proper medical care or disparities between the way that women of color and White women are treated (or both).

The reality is that it’s very dangerous to be a pregnant woman in the United States, and the danger gets worse during and after delivery. If you were injured during childbirth due to improper care or your loved one died of childbirth complications, find out more about your legal options.