Pregnancy Is Always a Huge Risk, Especially in the US

Pregnancy Is Always a Huge Risk, Especially in the US

The already extremely high maternal mortality rate in the United States has reportedly reached its highest level since 1965, according to researchers.
The maternal mortality rate increased for the third year in a row in 2021 in the United States, with an astounding 40 percent more people passing away during or right after pregnancy than in 2020.
And that was prior to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, even though Texas effectively outlawed abortion for the final 4 months of 2021.
Krystina Pacheco, 29 is just one example of a pregnant person who suffered as a result of her pregnancy, and that is even unrelated to the laws, having lost both her legs and hands because of an infection she suffered after C-section.
The Texas woman had what she described as an “uneventful” C-section in October of 2022; she neither experienced a miscarriage nor was denied access to an abortion.
But two days later, on the day of her hospital discharge, she developed a fever, so a nurse gave her ibuprofen.
She went to the doctor because she kept feeling ill, and he directed her to the ER.
She was then flown to another hospital, where doctors discovered she had septic shock.
The body reacts violently to an infection during that most dangerous stage of sepsis, which can result in tissue damage, organ failure, and even death.
As per the CDC, sepsis is the second most common cause of pregnancy-related death.
She was placed on an ECMO machine and kept in the ICU for a couple of weeks so that her heart and lungs could heal.
She miraculously survived despite the doctors’ predictions that she had a 20 percent chance of doing so.
However, ECMO can reduce blood flow to one’s limbs and it did severely damage her hands and feet, necessitating the amputation of all four of her extremities.
Pacheco only recently returned home to her husband and two kids after spending three months in the hospital, undergoing numerous skin grafts, and spending several weeks in a rehab facility.
In most of the coverage of these mortality rates, it wasn’t mentioned that the number of severe birth complications—people who almost die—far outweighs the number of actual deaths.
For every woman who dies during pregnancy, another 70 come dangerously close, according to the CDC. That has previously meant about 50,000 people.
However, in 2021, when more than 1,200 women passed away, this amounted to about 84,000 near-fatalities.
Not to mention that the CDC excludes homicide from its calculation of the maternal mortality rate, despite the fact that it accounts for a greater proportion of pregnancy-related deaths than any other factor and is frequently committed by a partner.
Pregnancy is definitely not a benign occurrence, as demonstrated by the experiences of women like Pacheco.
“Pregnancy is cool and miraculous, and it’s fantastic that our bodies can do it—but carrying a pregnancy to term is also something that could literally kill you and at the very least will change your body permanently,” Erin Gloria Ryan wrote in Jezebel not too long ago.


Katherine is just getting her start as a journalist. She attended a technical school while still in high school where she learned a variety of skills, from photography to nutrition. Her enthusiasm for both natural and human sciences is real so she particularly enjoys covering topics on medicine and the environment.

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