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New Report Indicates 90% of Texan Maternal Deaths in 2019 Could Have Been Prevented

New Report Indicates 90% of Texan Maternal Deaths in 2019 Could Have Been Prevented

According to a new report published in December 2022, the Texas Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee estimates that as many as 90% of Texan maternal deaths in 2019 may have been preventable.

In analyzing the data, the Committee determined that a pregnancy-related death was preventable if they find there was “at least some chance of averting the death by one or more feasible changes to the circumstances of the patient, provider, facility, systems, or community factors contributing to the death.” Obstetric hemorrhage was found to be the most common preventable contributor to maternal death of Texas mothers, accounting for 25% of deaths reviewed by the committee. Other factors noted in the report that contributed to preventable maternal death included mental health issues, cardiovascular conditions, and infection, among others, as well as a lack of resources and care for the mother, provider failures (such as failure to screen/inadequate assessment of risk), facility failure (including lack of standardized policies and procedures), and discrimination.

As with many other parts of the country, Black mothers were impacted the most; the report showed that discrimination contributed to 12% of pregnancy-related deaths in 2019. A subcommittee was established in 2018 to better understand if racial discrimination factors into maternal deaths. Advocate and committee member Nakeenya Wilson notes that the rate may be even higher: “That’s 12% as definable by the system we currently use,” she said. “Does that capture everything? Probably not.”

Next to death, severe complications during the birthing process increased dramatically from 2018 to 2020, including an increase among Black mothers, specifically, who experienced hemorrhage-related complications.

The report is intended to aid in the legislative efforts of Texas lawmakers, and urging more support for standardizing protocols for pregnancy-related emergencies, extending Medicaid coverage for one full year after birth, and improving access to behavioral health services, among other recommendations.

Did You or a Loved One Suffer Injury or Death During the Birthing Process?

If you suspect your loved one suffered injury or died due to malpractice during her pregnancy, labor, childbirth or the postpartum period, consider discussing your situation with our birth injury lawyers.

Call us at (877) 262-9767 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We represent families nationwide and have offices in Chicago IL, Baltimore MD, New York NY, and Wilmington DE.