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10 Leading Causes of Maternal Death

Pregnant woman lying in a hospital bed holding her stomach. She has an IV in her hand and someone is sitting by her bed.

Breaking down the tragic reality of maternal deaths in the U.S.

According to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an alarming 20 out of 100,000 women die annually due to complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. These devastating incidents, known as maternal deaths, often result from medical negligence and malpractice.

It is a harsh truth that many of these fatalities could have been prevented with proper medical care. In such cases, the responsible medical professional must be held accountable for their actions.

At The Lancione Law Firm in Cleveland, we have decades of experience handling complex medical negligence cases in Ohio. With a deep understanding of the legal system and a specialized focus on medical malpractice cases, Attorney John A. Lancione has earned a reputation for successfully navigating wrongful death claims.

Medical conditions that can lead to maternal death

Pregnancy and childbirth are supposed to be moments of immense joy for families, but for some, they can also be moments of tragedy.

Every year, women around the world die from medical complications related to their pregnancy or delivery. In the United States, data from 2016 to 2018 reveals that the leading causes of maternal death include:

10. Anesthesia complications (0.2% of maternal deaths)

This involves issues related to the use of anesthesia during pregnancy or delivery, including adverse reactions to the anesthesia itself or problems with the administration of the anesthesia.

9. Amniotic fluid embolism (5.7% of maternal deaths)

A rare but serious condition in which amniotic fluid enters the mother's bloodstream, triggering an allergic reaction and leading to severe respiratory distress, heart failure, and death.

8. Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (6.8% of maternal deaths)

High blood pressure disorders that can occur during pregnancy include preeclampsia and eclampsia. These conditions can lead to severe complications for both the mother and the baby.

7. Cerebrovascular accidents (7.0% of maternal deaths)

This refers to a stroke occurring during pregnancy or after delivery, which can lead to severe and permanent damage or death.

6. Thrombotic pulmonary embolism or other embolism (9.4% of maternal deaths)

This condition involves the formation of a clot in a blood vessel, which can then travel to another part of the body and block the flow of blood. This can occur during pregnancy or after delivery and lead to severe complications, including death.

5. Hemorrhage (11.0% of maternal deaths)

Hemorrhaging involves excessive bleeding, either during pregnancy or after delivery, which can be caused by various factors, including a ruptured uterus, placenta problems, or complications from a cesarean delivery.

4. Other noncardiovascular medical conditions (11.4% of maternal deaths)

Refers to medical issues unrelated to the heart and circulatory system, such as kidney failure, that can occur during pregnancy or after delivery.

3. Cardiomyopathy (12.5% of maternal deaths)

A group of diseases that affect the heart muscle, making it difficult for the heart to pump blood effectively. This condition can occur during pregnancy and lead to heart failure.

2. Infection or sepsis (13.9% of maternal deaths)

A severe and life-threatening condition in which an infection spreads throughout the body and triggers a widespread inflammatory response. This can lead to organ failure and death if not treated promptly and effectively.

1. Cardiovascular conditions (16.2% of maternal deaths)

Medical issues affecting the heart and circulatory system, such as heart attacks or heart failure, which can occur during pregnancy or after delivery.

How medical negligence contributes to maternal death

For expectant mothers, the promise of new life can be marred by the negligence of healthcare professionals charged with their care. Obstetricians and gynecologists (OB/GYNs), who undergo extensive training to care for pregnant women, must adhere to standard protocols and best practices to prevent fatal injury or illness.

Regrettably, OB/GYN malpractice continues to occur, with devastating consequences for families. From failing to consider a patient's pre-existing medical history to misdiagnosing a condition or misreading test results, to not conducting standard tests or performing life-saving procedures in a timely manner, the examples of medical negligence are numerous and unacceptable.

OB/GYNs are not the only medical professionals who can be held responsible. Nurses, anesthesiologists, and other medical professionals may also play a role in cases of fatal injury or illness resulting from medical malpractice.

The Lancione Law Firm is here to help.

The stakes are often high in cases involving the tragedy of a maternal death. As a result, negligent medical professionals, hospitals, or others responsible for the death may deny wrongdoing and have their own legal representation to defend their actions.

At The Lancione Law Firm, our legal team can help you level the playing field and build a compelling case supporting your wrongful death claim. We take an aggressive approach, advocating for the justice, accountability, and financial compensation your family deserves.

Navigating these complex and emotionally charged cases is never easy. But with our compassionate and experienced team, you can find the support you need. Schedule a free consultation with Cleveland wrongful death attorney John A. Lancione by contacting us online. Trust us to fight for your rights and bring justice to your case.

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