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New Study Claims Half Of Pregnancy Deaths Are Avoidable


A new Oxford University-based report claims that almost half of the deaths occurring during pregnancy and in labour are avoidable.

Despite the number of women who die from blood loss and clots or eclampsia almost halving over the past eight years, there has not been a similar reduction in the number of deaths classed as ‘indirect’, and which are caused by postnatal depression or heart disease. In addition, 75% of women who died had been diagnosed with mental health issues before becoming pregnant. Experts are also warning that older women and those who are obese could make the death rate worse.

Marian Knight, one of the researchers in the study, claimed that 50% of the deaths might have had a different outcome had the women received better care. She did point out however, that deaths occurring during pregnancy and birth are rare.

The number of women who died during pregnancy or within six weeks after giving birth totalled 321 between 2009 and 2012. More than 50% of those women had been obese or at least overweight, and the cause of their death was due to blood clots, while for women aged 40 and above the death rate was three times higher than those who became pregnant in their 20’s.

16th December 2014, 17:49
Page updated 5th Oct 2015, 13:25
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