Nebraska Launches Effort To Fight Maternal Mortality

Published: April 8, 2019

The U.S. has a surprising problem: More women have been dying in childbirth in recent years.

Currently, the U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate among the world’s top 50 developed nations, according to an alliance of health care organizations. It’s also the only country except Afghanistan and Sudan where the rate is rising. The agency defines pregnancy-related deaths as those that occur during pregnancy or within a year after it ends. It includes only causes of death related to the pregnancy, not accidental ones.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the maternal mortality ratio more than doubled from 1987 to 2014, when there were 18 deaths per 100,000 live births.

To be sure, the numbers are nowhere near the rates of the early 1900s, which peaked at almost 900 per 100,000 live births. Reducing those rates, primarily through infection control and obstetrical interventions, has been among the greatest successes in public health, said Dr. Robert Bonebrake, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Methodist Women’s Hospital.

Omaha World-Herald: Nebraska Launches Effort To Fight Maternal Mortality As U.S. Rate Rises