Four in five pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. are preventable, according to the Centers for Disease Control which cites data from Maternal Mortality Review Committees.
“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," said Wanda Barfield, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
The report shows that most of the pregnancy-related deaths were attributed to mental health issues. Twenty-three percent of the deaths were the result of suicide, overdose and substance use disorder, according to the CDC.
Excessive bleeding was the second-most common cause of pregnancy-related death. It was followed by cardiac and coronary conditions, infection, blood clots, cardiomyopathy and hypertensive disorders.
"More than half (53%) of pregnancy-related deaths happen up to one year after delivery," the CDC stated. "It is critical for all healthcare professionals to ask whether their patient is pregnant or has been pregnant in the last year to inform diagnosis and treatment decisions."