How this Georgia hospital is addressing high maternal mortality rates

Georgia has the highest maternal mortality rate of all states at 46.2 deaths per 1,000 births, but Lawrenceville, Ga.-based Gwinnett Medical Center is working to change that, reports the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The hospital, which houses a level 3 neonatal intensive care unit, is participating in two initiatives to help lower postpartum hemorrhage rates:

  • The Georgia Perinatal Quality Collaborative
  • The Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses Postpartum Hemorrhage Project

In the second quarter of 2018, 6.7 percent of GMC patients who experienced postpartum hemorrhaging had a severe maternal morbidity event, which fell to 5.8 percent in the third quarter of 2018.

For reference, 24.2 percent of women at other hospitals with level 3 NICUs participating in the Georgia Perinatal Quality Collaborative experienced a maternal morbidity event after a postpartum hemorrhage.

"In-house drills, assessments of processes and procedures and collaboration have been key," Veritta Henderson, RN, a perinatal practice specialist at GMC, told the Gwinnett Daily Post. "Furthermore, leadership and medical providers are extremely open to new findings and supportive of a team approach."

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