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.
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.