September 20, 2022

CDC says 80% of pregnancy-related deaths are preventable

By: Lauren McCaffrey
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Editor's Note

According to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, 85% of pregnancy-related deaths in 36 states between 2017 and 2019 were preventable based on data from interdisciplinary committees that review deaths during and up to one year after pregnancy, American Hospital Association September 19 reports. This was the first data released under a CDC-funded program to support Maternal Mortality Review Committees.

The data found that deaths occurred 22% during pregnancy, 25% on or within seven days of delivery, and 53% seven days to one year after pregnancy. The main underlying causes of pregnancy-related deaths were cardiac and coronary among Black people, mental health conditions among Hispanic and white people, and hemorrhage among Asian people.

Wanda Barfield, MD, director of CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion said, “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.”

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