Department of Health issued its 2014-2015 Maternal Mortality Review Report on maternal deaths today, and obesity and hypertension were common factors in pregnancy-related maternal deaths.
The Maternal Mortality Review Panel (MMRP) found that a higher than normal body mass index was a contributing factor in 31 percent of the pregnancy-related deaths, and hypertensive disorders was nearly 20 percent.
There were 69 maternal deaths in Washington in 2014-2015.
- 53 deaths were categorized as pregnancy-associated, which are maternal deaths that occur during pregnancy or within one year of the end of pregnancy, from a cause that is not related to pregnancy.
- 16 deaths were categorized as pregnancy-related, which are maternal deaths that occur during pregnancy or within one year of the end of pregnancy from a pregnancy complication, a chain of events initiated by pregnancy, or the aggravation of an unrelated condition by the physiologic effects of pregnancy.
The pregnancy-related maternal mortality ratio in the state was nine deaths per year per 100,000 births for 2014-2015. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the national ratio was about 17 in 2013.
The MMRP recommendations:
- Improve care for women who are pregnant and have a high BMI.
- Promote and encourage the use of standardized protocols related to ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside of the uterus) treatment and intervention.
- Expand access to and continuity of health care coverage for all women and children.
- Improve access to substance use treatment and mental health services for pregnant and postpartum women.
- Expand and improve efforts to provide effective follow-up care for women during all points of pregnancy and through the first year postpartum.
- Improve health equity and address social determinants of health to reduce racial and ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographic disparities in maternal mortality.
- Improve maternal death investigation and autopsy.
- Coordinate efforts with other state and non-governmental agencies that share a focus on preventing maternal death and improving maternal health.