The Los Angeles Times reports on an alarming trend in American medicine:

After plunging in the 1900s, maternal mortality rates in California tripled between 1996 and 2006, from 5.6 deaths per 100,000 births to 16.9. Nationally, the rate, defined as deaths from obstetrical causes within one year of giving birth, rose from 7.6 per 100,000 to 13.3 per 100,000.

Though the U.S. spends more per birth than any other nation, maternal mortality is higher here than in 40 other industrialized countries, including Croatia, Hungary and Macedonia, and is double that of Canada and much of Western Europe.

Experts attribute the increase to a number of factors, including women having more babies at an older age, a rise in the number of C-sections and induced births, and understaffed and underfunded hospital facilities. Still, these factors don’t explain why the US ranks 41st. Something else is going on here.

What’s on your mind tonight?

Jim Moss

Jim Moss