Italy to investigate after five women died giving birth last month.

Five Italian women died during childbirth within a week last month – and now, the nation is demanding answers.

The deaths are all the more shocking as Italy has one of the lowest maternal death rates in the world.

The Telegraph reports that health officials have now been sent to four different Italian hospitals to investigate, amid fears that older pregnant women are not being adequately checked for potentially deadly health issues.

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While Giovanna Lazzari, who died on New Year's Eve, was just 29, two of the other women who died were aged 35 and 39. Both of those women passed away after suffering cardiac arrest.

The ages of the other two women are not known.

Meanwhile, some have questioned whether the deaths could have been caused by understaffing over the holiday period, as they all occurred between December 25 and 31.

Italy's health minister Beatrice Lorenzin has vowed to find answers.

pregnant womens bodies
Image via iStock.

"We have to understand if the recommended procedures were followed or if there were organisational deficiencies,"she said.

"The priority is identifying any errors and preventing other tragedies."

However, her words will be cold comfort to Giovanna Lazzari's grieving partner Roberto Coppini.

Ms Lazzari, already a mother of two, was taken to hospital suffering from a fever and possible gastroenteritis.

She quickly deteriorated, and despite an emergency caesarean, she and her baby died.

"In a few hours, I lost a baby and a unique mamma. Someone has to tell me what happened," Mr Coppini said.

Image via iStock.

"Giovanna sent me a text message during the night in which she told me she had very strong pains but that the doctors were not paying any attention to her.

"She would have been 30 on January 1. She was young and healthy."

Let's hope the investigators find some answers - and stop tragedies like these from happening again.