Jul 27, 2018

U.S. tops list of most dangerous developed countries to give birth

A hospital room in a maternity ward. Photo: Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

The United States is the most dangerous country in the developed world to give birth in, according to a new study by USA Today.

By the numbers: Most women in the country give birth without incident, but nearly 50,000 are severely injured during birth annually and about 700 die. Much of it has to do with hospitals not using best practices during deliveries, the study says.

The details: Hypertension and hemorrhages are the two leading causes of childbirth death and injury and 90% of the deaths could be prevented. "USA TODAY repeatedly contacted 75 hospitals in 13 states to press for specific answers about whether they are following the [Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health Programs] Program’s recommended practices for hemorrhage and hypertension....Half wouldn’t answer the questions."

Be smart: This isn't a new problem. Pro Publica reported similar statistics on childbirth death and injury last year.

The solution: More hospitals are advised to follow best practices and proper training protocols. Hospitals in California who follow AIM's recommended practices have cut maternal death rates in half, but many are hesitant to adopt those measures.

Go deeper

Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. Meanwhile, Italy reported its first virus-related death on Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,359 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 hours ago - Health

Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.