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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

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Dave Lawler, author of World
3 hours ago - World

Alexey Navalny detained after landing back in Moscow

Navalny and his wife shortly before he was detained. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained upon his return to Moscow on Sunday, which came five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. He returned despite being warned that he would be arrested.

The latest: Navalny was stopped at a customs checkpoint and led away alone by officers. He appeared to hug his wife goodbye, and his spokesman reports that his lawyer was not allowed to accompany him.

Mike Allen, author of AM
5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's "overwhelming force" doctrine

President-elect Biden arrives to introduce his science team in Wilmington yesterday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. 

The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months.