Every year, about seven hundred women sadly die from pregnancy-related complications. However, new data released by the CDC has revealed various significant findings about these tragic fatalities. Most notably, over eighty percent of pregnancy-related deaths were found to have been preventable.
The data was drawn from Maternal Mortality Review Committees in thirty-six states between 2017 and 2019.
“Maternal Mortality Review Committees (MMRCs) are multidisciplinary committees that convene at the state or local level to comprehensively review deaths during or within a year of pregnancy,” the CDC explained.
In turn, the MMRCs had access to both clinical and non-clinical information– including medical records, vital records, and social service records.
First, the review found that pregnancy-related deaths are most common in urban areas. Rural counties only accounted for about eighteen percent of the fatalities.
Additionally, between 2017 and 2019, pregnancy-related deaths most commonly occurred during later postpartum recovery. More specifically, thirty percent of these fatalities happened when women were between forty-three and one year postpartum.
Then, about twenty-three percent occurred when women were seven to forty-two days postpartum; meanwhile, just over twenty-one percent occurred during pregnancy.
Delivery day and the first six days postpartum were the periods with the lowest number of pregnancy-related deaths– at thirteen percent and twelve percent, respectively.
Next, the most common underlying cause of pregnancy-related deaths was mental health conditions at nearly twenty-three percent. This was followed by hemorrhage at about fourteen percent and cardiac and coronary conditions at about thirteen percent.