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The Rise of Maternal Mortality in the U.S.

Pregnant women sitting down with hands on her belly

The United States maternal mortality rate is rising, while in other developed counties there has been a decline. Maternal death can happen while a woman is pregnant, during labor and delivery, or in the 42 days after childbirth or the termination of pregnancy.

According to The United Health Foundation, from 2011 to 2015, put the U.S. maternal mortality rate at 20.7 per 100,000 live births. The CDC claims that 50,000 are severely injured and 700 women die each year as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention also claims that 60% of all maternal deaths are preventable. In Illinois, the maternal mortality rate is 16.6 per 100,000 births.

Leading Causes of Maternal Mortality in the U.S. from 2011 – 2014

The Rise of Maternal Mortality in the U.S. graph

Out of the nearly 3,000 deaths from 2011 - 2015, primary causes are:

Hemorrhage: 329

Postpartum hemorrhage is excessive bleeding and loss of blood after childbirth. About 1 to 5 percent of women have postpartum hemorrhage and is more likely with a cesarean birth.

Infection or sepsis: 360

Infection or sepsis is the third leading cause of death. Undetected or poorly managed maternal infections can lead to sepsis, death, or disability for the mother.

Amniotic fluid embolism: 173

An amniotic fluid embolism is a childbirth emergency in which amniotic fluid enter the blood stream of the mother to trigger a serious reaction. This reaction then results in cardio respiratory collapse and massive bleeding.

Hypertensive disorders: 212

Hypertensive disorders affect up to 10% of pregnancies in the United States. Elevated blood pressure (BP) in pregnancy may represent chronic hypertension, gestational hypertension, preeclamsia, or preeclampsia superimposed on chronic hypertension.

Anesthesia complications: 10

Women that may be at a higher risk of maternal mortality include:

  • Women aged 40 or older: 31.9 percent of maternal deaths from 2013 - 2014 occurred in women aged 40 or older
  • Women who have obesity
  • Uninsured women: women who lack health insurance are 3-4 times more likely to die than those with insurance
  • Women who have given birth to five or more children

Contact an Experienced Attorney

If you or someone you know suffered serious injuries or even death while pregnant, you need to talk to an experienced attorney. At Sam C. Mitchell & Associates, we provide a free consultation. Give us a call at 618-505-1660.