Maternal Mortality Review
More than two women in the United States die every day from complications of pregnancy and childbirth.1 The rate of maternal deaths in the United States has been rising, doubling from 6.6 deaths per 100,000 births in1996 to 13.3 deaths per 100,000 births in 2006.2 However, approximately half of these deaths could be prevented if maternal health care access and quality were improved.3
There are a number of factors that have led to the current state of maternal health, including unequal access, gaps in care, systemic failures, and financial, bureaucratic and language hurdles.4 There has been very little oversight of maternal health trends and a lack of documentation of maternal risk factors, which has made it difficult to implement consistent evidence-based standards.5 In response to these patterns, a number of states have set up maternal mortality review committees. While these committees vary in their approach, they maintain a common goal: to track maternal health patterns and effective develop responsive solutions to address the rising rate of maternal mortality.
States receive a "meets policy" if they have established a maternal mortality review board. States that have a maternal mortality review board in development receive a "limited policy." States that do not have a maternal mortality review board receive a "no policy."
This is a new indicator for the 2010 Report Card.
|State||Strength of Policy||Change from 2007|
|District of Columbia||No Policy||N/A|
|New Hampshire||No Policy||N/A|
|New Jersey||Meets Policy||N/A|
|New Mexico||No Policy||N/A|
|New York||Meets Policy||N/A|
|North Carolina||Meets Policy||N/A|
|North Dakota||No Policy||N/A|
|Rhode Island||No Policy||N/A|
|South Carolina||Limited Policy||N/A|
|South Dakota||No Policy||N/A|
|West Virginia||Meets Policy||N/A|
Data Source: Amnesty International, "Deadly Delivery: The Maternal Health Care Crisis in the USA," 2010, available at http://www.amnestyusa.org/dignity/pdf/DeadlyDelivery.pdf, accessed September 8, 2010.
1 M. Heron et al, Deaths: Final Data for 2006, National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 57, No. 14: Table 34, April 2009 available at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr57/nvsr57_14.pdf, accessed September 23, 2010.
2 Office of Minority Health, “Changing Outcomes–Achieving Health Equity. The National Plan for Action,” December 2009, available at http://www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/npa/images/plan/nationalplan.pdf, accessed September 23, 2010.
3 S.J. Bacak et al (eds.), State Maternal Mortality Review–Accomplishments of Nine States (Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2006) 1.
4 Amnesty International, “Deadly Delivery: The Maternal Health Care Crisis in the USA,” March 2010, available at http://www.amnestyusa.org/dignity/pdf/DeadlyDelivery.pdf, accessed September 23, 2010.
5 Amnesty International, Deadly Delivery: The Maternal Health Care Crisis in the USA (March 2010), available at http://www.amnestyusa.org/dignity/pdf/DeadlyDelivery.pdf, accessed September 23, 2010.