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Addressing a Leading Cause of Pregnancy-Related Death Among U.S. Women

When it comes to pregnancy-related deaths in the United States, blood clots are a prominent cause. Pregnant women have a five-fold greater chance of developing blood clots compared to women who are not pregnant. According to the National Blood Clot Alliance (NBCA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of developing a blood clot after birth is greatest during the first six weeks and continues to be high during the first three months after delivery (CDC). NBCA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are launching new content for the Stop the Clot, Spread the WordTM public health education campaign, which is aimed at preventing blood clots during pregnancy and after delivery. This new content will help inform pregnant women and new moms with potentially life-saving information.

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A dangerous blood clot develops in the deep veins of the body, generally in the legs (deep vein thrombosis, or DVT), and may spread to the lungs if not treated immediately (called pulmonary embolism or PE). In the United States, blood clots in the lungs are responsible for nine percent of all maternal fatalities in the United States.

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In the words of Anne Schuchat, MD (RADM, USPHS), Principal Deputy Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “it is critical that pregnant women realize that blood clots are a serious concern throughout pregnancy, labor, and up to three months following delivery.” “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes that these educational tools can preserve the health of pregnant mothers and their newborns, as well as save lives.”

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It is only feasible because of funds provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to the National Blood Clot Association (NBCA). Materials for pregnant women have been released as part of the Stop the Clot, Spread the WordTM campaign. These resources give information to assist women in discussing their concerns with their healthcare providers. Women may find out whether they might benefit from a blood clot prevention plan that will help them control their chances of having a blood clot.

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