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What are common causes of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S.?


Pregnancy and child birth is supposed to be an exciting time in your life. Welcoming a baby should be an exhilarating, special and magical time. However, when doctor errors cause pregnancy or birth trauma, pregnancy can be a nightmare. Injuries to mothers are common occurrences when doctors fail to take all necessary precautions to protect laboring women. In some cases, delivery room negligence can even lead to fatal injuries.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2006 and 2010, the pregnancy-related death rate in the U.S. was an average of 16 fatalities per 100,000 births. This rate jumped to 34.4 deaths for every 100,000 births for African American women. Many Oregon families are likely wondering why and how so many woman died during pregnancy. The CDC says there were several common causes for this high mortality rate.

These common causes of pregnancy related deaths included hemorrhage, infection, pulmonary embolism, pregnancy-related hypertensive disorders, cardiovascular issues, amniotic fluid embolism and anesthesia complications. The most common cause of a mother’s death was cardiovascular disease which was the cause of death in 14.6 percent of cases. Pregnancy-related hypertension was blamed in 9.4 percent of cases. Infection claimed the women’s lives 13.6 percent of the time, and anesthesia was the cause in 0.7 percent of cases. Between 2006 and 2010, the cause of death was unknown in 4.7 percent of cases.

When a doctor error is suspected in a fatal pregnancy injury, people should know their legal rights. Families could be entitled to compensation; however, specific legal advice — which this post cannot provide — is necessary to determine if compensation is available. By speaking with an attorney you may be able to gather more information about a specific case.