Women who are pregnant or who have given birth in the last year in Washington State should be able to focus on the joys associated with bringing a new life into the world. Unfortunately, that is not always the case as the rate of maternal deaths is on the rise. Data from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that three out of every five maternal deaths are actually preventable via proper medical care.
For some time, the medical community has been all but blaming the mothers themselves for the problems associated with maternal mortality, saying women were not healthy enough to be pregnant or were too overweight to successfully carry and deliver babies. Now, however, a new report in USA Today exposes the facts that many women are dying due to missed diagnoses and delayed diagnoses. A lack on the part of health care professionals to recognize warning signs may be a significant contributor to the increasing number of mothers dying.
Out of the 700 or so mothers who die every year, roughly one-third die while pregnant, another one-third die during labor and delivery and the remaining one-third die within one year of their child’s birth. Excessive hemorrhaging and leaking of amniotic fluid into the mother’s bloodstream are two problems that contribute to these events.
A lack of access to care has been identified as another problem plaguing expectant and new mothers. Mortality rates are also higher among women who are black or of American Indian descent than among Caucasian women.