A new study has found that the number of U.S. women who die from anesthesia complications during childbirth has fallen sharply in recent decades, but deaths specifically related to so-called regional anesthesia, including epidurals and spinal blocks, have crept upward since the mid-1990s.
"It is concerning," said lead researcher Dr. Joy L. Hawkins, of the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora.
It is hard to study the potential reasons for the increase in deaths linked to regional anesthesia, precisely because they are so rare. But information from malpractice claims suggests that a number of deaths in recent years were related to a lack of emergency resuscitation equipment in the delivery room.
To read more about the study, click Birth Injuries
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•$5.5 million settlement for the family of a 23-year-old woman who died after giving birth to her daughter