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Medical malpractice: CDC says most maternal deaths preventable

Welcoming a new life into the world is supposed to be a joyous occasion for parents, but for some it can be tragic. Maternal death in Maryland and across the rest of the United States is startlingly high, and the problem does not seem to be getting any better. Even more upsetting is that many of these deaths could be linked to instances of medical malpractice.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that approximately 700 women in the United States die due to pregnancy-related complications annually. In its report, the CDC also stated that 60% of those deaths are preventable. These results were based on data collected between 2011 and 2015.

A significant takeaway from the CDC report is that pregnancy-related deaths can occur up to a year after a woman has given birth. In fact, deaths that occur between a week and a year after giving birth account for 33 percent of all maternal deaths. In comparison, 36 percent happen during delivery or within a week afterwards, while 31 percent occur before. Some of the most common causes of death include high blood pressure, severe bleeding, weakened heart muscles and amniotic fluid embolism.

When doctors and other health care officials ignore the symptoms of pregnancy-related illnesses, women suffer and even die. This level of medical malpractice can be particularly devastating as it forces a family that should have been celebrating a new life into a state of grief and mourning. While no amount of money could ever replace a life lost, Maryland families who successfully pursue medical malpractice claims can use any resulting compensation to address financial burdens such as medical bills, lost wages and more.

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