Preventable Pregnancy-Related Deaths Report Released

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a recent summary of pregnancy-related deaths from 2008-2017 (1). The data summarized was voluntarily given to the CDC by 14 Maternal Mortality Review Committees (MMRCs) across the country. 

In an effort to understand the incidence of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S., these committees reported a vast amount of data to the CDC. The study found that 1 in 3 deaths in women during or within a year of pregnancy was determined to be a pregnancy-related death. The total number of pregnancy-related deaths in the compiled data was 454 (1).


The committees worked to make a preventability determination for these cases of pregnancy-related death. They were able to make determinations for 354 of the cases. Of this group, 233 were determined to have “at least some chance of the death being averted by one or more reasonable changes to patient, community, provider, facility, and/or systems factors.” That is, two-thirds of these deaths were preventable (1,2).

Of the total 454 pregnancy-related deaths (1):

  • 24% happened during pregnancy
  • 34% happened on the day of delivery or within 7 days after delivery
  • 19% happened 7042 days postpartum
  • 24% happened 43-365 days postpartum

How did these mothers die? While there were myriad conditions associated with their deaths, 75% of these deaths were caused by (1):

Read more about these conditions and how medical professionals and staff can prevent them in future pregnancies here:

About ABC Law Centers

ABC Law Centers was established to focus exclusively on birth injury cases. A “birth injury” is any type of harm to a baby that occurs just before, during, or after birth. This includes issues such as oxygen deprivation, infection, and trauma. While some children with birth injuries make a complete recovery, others develop disabilities such as cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

If a birth injury/subsequent disability could have been prevented with proper care, then it constitutes medical malpractice. Settlements from birth injury cases can cover the costs of lifelong treatment, care, and other crucial resources. 

If you believe you may have a birth injury case for your child, contact us today to learn more. We are happy to talk to you free of any obligation or charge. In fact, clients pay nothing throughout the entire legal process unless we win. 

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  1. Nicole L. Davis, MPH, PhD; Ashley N. Smoots, MPH; David A. Goodman, MS, PhD “Pregnancy-Related Deaths: Data from 14 U.S. Maternal Mortality Review Committees, 2008-2017.” 2019.
  2. Frakt, Austin. “What’s Missing in the Effort to Stop Maternal Deaths.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 13 July 2020,

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