With recent media attention on maternal deaths, it is no secret that the maternal mortality rate in the U.S. is an abysmal 26.4 per 100,000 live births as reported in 2015. Countries that we might consider our peers (e.g., United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada, etc.) all have maternal mortality rates of less than 10 per 100,000 live births. Not only does the U.S. have the highest rate of any high-resource country, but it is the only country in the world outside of Afghanistan and Sudan where the rate is rising.

The leading causes of maternal mortality differ greatly between low- versus high-resource countries, with hemorrhage, sepsis, obstructed labor and hypertension accounting for a larger proportion of deaths in low-resource countries.

A systematic review of maternal deaths by the World Health Organization found venous thromboembolism (VTE) to...

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