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July 12, 2018

Maternal Morbidity and Mortality

The U.S. has unacceptable rates of maternal morbidity and mortality, especially when compared to other developed nations. Women in America continue to experience sickness and death throughout the perinatal period – during pregnancy, birth, and in the postpartum period. 

This activity provides resources and educational stories from National Public Radio (NPR), USA Today, the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), the March of Dimes, and the Illinois Department of Public Health. Please work through the activities and respond to the prompts after each section directly on this document. Place your responses on this document in a different color ink or font.Submit this assignment to clinical Absences Assignment Dropbox.

Student Name: _________________________________________

1. NPR maternal mortality series (2017): https://www.npr.org/series/543928389/lost-mothers

o WatchTo Keep Women from Dying in Childbirth, Look to California (14:07)

o WatchFocus on Infants During Childbirth Leaves U.S. Moms in Danger (12:11)

o WatchBlack mothers keep dying after giving birth: Shalon Irving’s story explains why (12:11)

o WatchFor every woman who dies in childbirth in the U.S., 70 more come close (10:42)

o ReadRedesigning Maternal Care: OB-GYNs Are Urged to See New Mothers Sooner and More Often (4/23/2018)

o ReadNearly Dying in Childbirth: Why Preventable Complications Are Growing in the U.S. (12/22/2017)

o WatchMany Nurses Lack Knowledge of Health Risks to Mothers After Childbirth (6:54)

o ReadIf You Hemorrhage, Don’t Clean Up: Advice From Mothers Who Almost Died (8/3/2017)

o ReadU.S. has the worst rate of maternal deaths in the developed world (5/12/2017)

Prompt #1: Choose two of the video stories and two of the article stories that captured your attention the most. Provide a brief summaryfor each of the four pieces. Include your reaction, and if anything surprisedyou. Each commentary should be a separate paragraph, 4-5 sentences for each.

2. USA Today videos and stories (2018)

Deadly Deliveries: (9 minutes)


Prompt #2: Briefly summarize Antoinette Pratsinakis, Ali Lowry and YoLanda Mention’s stories. What were their complications? What did the health care team do right? What did they do wrong?

How Hospitals Are Failing New Moms, in Graphics:


Prompt #3: Define maternal mortality. Rank the maternal mortality rate from lowest to highestfor the following developed nations: U.S., Canada, Germany, Japan, France, England. Approximately how many women die in childbirth in America every year? How many suffer severe complications? 

3. AWHONN: Read the article “Saving Women’s Lives” https://awhonnconnections.org/category/post-pregnancy/postpartum-care/

Prompt #4: What does the acronym POSTBIRTH stand for? How can we use this to better educate our new mothers on postpartum risks? 

4. March of Dimes – Read position statement:


Prompt #5: According to the CDC, what are “pregnancy-related deaths”? What are the top causes of maternal deaths? What is the role of the March of Dimes in efforts to reduce maternal mortality?

5. Read about House Resolution (HR) 1318: 


Prompt #6: What is the name of HR 1318? In your own words, summarize HR 1318. What and when was the outcome of HR 1318? Do you think this will help to reduce the problem of maternal M&M? Why?

7.  Read article:  Illinois Releases First Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Report


Prompt #7: What were the highlights of what the committee found? Summarize the 6 key recommendations from the report.

8. Final reflection

Prompt #8: 

o What reaction did you have to these resources? What was the most impactful story, article, or new information you learned? Why? 

o What solutions have been suggested to address the growing problem of preventable complications? What is our responsibility, as health care professionals? 

o What do you think are the barriers that nurses face which prevent the delivery of quality care and education?

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