Maternal Mortality had dominated the media headlines, and rightfully so.
The U.S. ranks 34th out of 35th of high income countries, and it continues to rise as it falls elsewhere.
In the most recent CDC Report, the CDC released that 700 women die from pregnancy related complications each year in the U.S. and about 3 in 5 pregnancy-related deaths could have been prevented. Studies show a majority of these deaths were due to “delay in recognition and intervention.”
At the end of 2018, The Ways and Means Committee launched an investigation into the rising death rates among mothers during and after childbirth, citing an AIM Report ” Women giving birth in the U.S. are more at risk of dying than their mothers were.”
USA Today created a series on Deadly Deliveries, outlining why thousands of moms are needlessly injured (50,000) and some die (700), giving birth every year in the U.S. In their latest report, they found that one out of eight hospitals have severe childbirth complication rates, double the median.
ProPublica created a “Lost Mothers” Series stating “the U.S. has the highest rate of deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth in the developed world. Half of the deaths are preventable, victimizing women from a variety of races, backgrounds, educations, and income levels.”
The Joint Commission also released a new performance measure, PC.06 to require reporting of unexpected newborn complications among full term newborns with no preexisting conditions.
Most states have created Maternal Mortality review committees (MMRCs) to identify, review and analyze maternal deaths, and disseminate and act on findings. Local news stations publish their state’s abysmal maternal mortality ranking.
Maternal Mortality has become a popular topic for presidential candidates, who discuss their plans for combatting the U.S. maternal health crisis
Countless articles, conferences, and films have been created to put a face and voice to the statistics of maternal mortality.
Now that everyone is aware of this Maternal Public Health Crises, what can we do to stop it?
The recent CDC Report, released recommendations for preventing pregnancy-related death every step of the way:
- During Pregnancy: Improve access to and delivery of quality prenatal care, which includes managing chronic conditions and educating about warning signs.
- At Delivery: Standardize patient care, including delivering high-risk women at hospitals with specialized providers and equipment.
- Postpartum: Provide high-quality care for mothers up to one year after birth, which includes communicating with patients about warning signs and connecting to prompt follow-up care.
In addition, they stated that healthcare providers can:
- Help patients manage chronic conditions.
- Communicate with patients about warning signs.
- Use tools to flag warning signs early so women can receive timely treatment.
To help combat this crisis, PeriGen has created an Automated Early Warning System for labor and delivery to notify clinicians when a patient’s condition is worsening. PeriWatch Vigilance® uses artificial intelligence and other analytical techniques to continuously analyze maternal vital signs, fetal heart rate, contractions and labor progression. It is designed to enhance clinical efficiency and standardization of care during childbirth. It provides warning notifications when a patient exceeds safe thresholds established by the institution so that clinicians can intervene sooner. Used within your unit or across the healthcare enterprise, it can help clinicians intervene sooner, potentially improving outcomes for mom and baby.
Mothers are dying. This is a public health crisis we can not ignore.