More California women dying from pregnancy complications
February 12, 2010
The number of California women who die from causes directly related to pregnancy has nearly tripled in the past decade. Equally disconcerting is the fact that for the last seven months, the state Department of Public Health has declined to release a report outlining the trend. [California Watch]
Investigators who compiled the still-unreleased report indicate that this is the most significant spike in pregnancy-related deaths that California has seen since the 1930’s. “It is more dangerous to give birth in California, than in Kuwait or Bosnia.”
Doctors point to a variety of possible factors, including older mothers, morbid obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes, along with hemorrhaging from C-sections. In the last decade, C-sections have increased 50 percent.
The California maternal mortality rate is rising among black women, but the most dramatic increase was in deaths among white, non-Hispanic mothers.
A report detailing these concerns was drafted in 2008 by 27 doctors and researchers, but the state of California has yet to release the formal report to the public. Officials claim the report needed “technical clarification,” but the findings still have yet to surface even after revisions were made.
Meanwhile, the California researchers forwarded their findings to a national commission, which is urging hospitals to fight what they call “the cesarean section epidemic.”