Maternal Mortality on the Rise in U.S.?

September 22, 2016
Mercy Bunting Center

A recent study from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation notes that maternal mortality in the United States has risen, despite going down in other parts of the world. There were 28 maternal deaths per 100,000 births in the U.S. in 2013, up from 23 in 2005, the study reports. Why has this occurred? Mercy’s Dr. Robert Atlas, Chair of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, recently replied to questions on this issue from online SELF Magazine:

* Why do you think maternal deaths have increased in the U.S.?

The population in general has become less healthy, individuals are becoming older and behaviors of individuals are changing as well.  

* What can women do to be as safe as possible during pregnancy? 

Enter pregnancy as healthy as you can.  In our state of Maryland one of the main causes of maternal death is lifestyle issues and drug and medication abuse. 

* What about after giving birth? (should they look out for signs of a blood clot, for example?)

All hospitals are doing a better job at trying to reduce a number of complications including infection and DVT’s (deep vein thrombosis).  

* Finally, should the average pregnant women who seeks regular prenatal care be worried about this?

The incidence of mortality is still quite low.  Those women who do not have medical complications the risk is very low.  It can never be totally eliminated but women who are healthy, the risk is low.

Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit, MDMercyMedia on FacebookTwitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.

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