By Lauren Victory

CHICAGO (CBS) — A startling new report by USA Today has found the United States is the “most dangerous place to give birth in the developed world.”

Every year in the U.S., more than 50,000 mothers are severely injured during or after childbirth and 700 die.

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Illinois ranks 36th in the U.S. for maternal deaths, with 14.7 deaths per 100,000 births from 2012 to 2016.

Experts say half of the deaths could be prevented.

USA Today found hospital workers across the country are not following best practices to stop hemorrhaging and hypertension complications after birth. Part of the problem is there are no federal requirements to do so.

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American mothers are dying from blood loss and blood pressure issues at much higher rates than in other developed countries, according to the study.

The Council on Patient Safety in Women’s Health Care created the AID Program to formalize safety practices proven to reduce deaths and injuries.

Records from the Illinois Department of Public Health show 540 women died in 2016 from pregnancy- or childbirth-related complications. The state created a Maternal Mortality Review Committee more than 10 years ago, after noticing what it called an “astounding rate” of hemorrhaging in new mothers.

More recently, IDPH surveyed all hospitals that provide maternal care, and found 99 percent of them have written protocols for hemorrhage treatment.

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In a statement, the department said they’re also making strides with hypertension. In less than two years, Illinois increased the number of hospitals treating moms for abnormally high blood pressure, from 41 percent to more than 80 percent.

Lauren Victory