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More US Childbirth Deaths Being Recorded

From a highly concerned Associated Press:

Experts: U.S. childbirth deaths on rise

By MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer

ATLANTA – U.S. women are dying from childbirth at the highest rate in decades, new government figures show. Though the risk of death is very small, experts believe increasing maternal obesity and a jump in Caesarean sections are partly to blame.

Some numbers crunchers note that a change in how such deaths are reported also may be a factor

Some health statisticians note the total number of maternal deaths — still fewer than 600 each year — is small. It’s so small that 50 to 100 extra deaths could raise the rate, said Donna Hoyert, a health scientist with the National Center for Health Statistics. The rate is the number of deaths per 100,000 live births.

In 2003, there was a change in death certificate questions in the nation’s most populous state, California, as well as Montana and Idaho. That may have resulted in more deaths being linked to childbirth — enough push up the 2003 rate, Hoyert said.

Some researchers point to the rising C-section rate, now 29 percent of all births — far higher than what public health experts say is appropriate. Like other surgeries, Caesareans come with risks related to anesthesia, infections and blood clots.

“There’s an inherent risk to C-sections,” said Dr. Elliott Main, who co-chairs a panel reviewing obstetrics care in California. “As you do thousands and thousands of them, there’s going to be a price.” …

Experts also say obesity may be a factor. Heavier women are more prone to diabetes and other complications, and they may have excess tissue and larger babies that make a vaginal delivery more problematic. That can lead to more C-sections. “It becomes this sort of snowball effect,” said King, who is now medical director of maternal-fetal medicine at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

The age of mothers could be a factor, too. More women are giving birth in their late 30s and 40s, when complications risks are greater

Other characteristics of the maternal mortality rate include:

Race: Studies have found that the maternal death rate in black women is at least three times greater than is it is for whites. Black women are more susceptible to complications like high blood pressure and are more likely to get inadequate prenatal care.

Quality of care: Three different studies indicate at least 40 percent of maternal deaths could have been prevented…

So it turns out that the heavily hyped story which claimed that the US is no longer among the top countries in life expectancy may have actually been due to the way infant deaths are reported. (Which is just as we suspected.)

More surprisingly, this report seems to have left out the criminal lack of easily available free universal health care as the culprit.

Indeed, they cite “quality of care” as a factor instead. Which is a whole other kettle of fish.

Still, even while mentioning “race,” they couldn’t bring themselves to consider the impact of millions of illegal alien moms on the numbers.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, August 25th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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