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Eliminating Preventable Maternal Deaths in the United States

Progress Made and Next Steps

Metz, Torri D., MD, MS

doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000002851
Contents: Maternal Mortality: Current Commentary

The crisis of a rising maternal mortality ratio in the United States continues to receive attention in both the scientific literature and the lay press. To continue to make progress in preventing these deaths, we must celebrate our successes and clearly delineate the next steps. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention program, Building U.S. Capacity to Review and Prevent Maternal Deaths, recently published a report from nine maternal mortality review committees, which accomplishes just that. The report is a collaborative effort from maternal mortality review committees demonstrating the capacity to do three important tasks: 1) collect data in a standardized fashion across maternal mortality review committees throughout the United States, 2) assess preventability of maternal deaths by consensus from experts on multidisciplinary state committees, and 3) create recommendations based on maternal death review with far-reaching effect. Next steps involve expansion of this standardized process to maternal mortality review committees in every state and translation of those recommendations into state-specific action through the use of local resources such as state perinatal quality care collaboratives. This commentary summarizes the content of the report from nine maternal mortality review committees.

Nine maternal mortality review committees have demonstrated capacity to collect and aggregate maternal death data using standardized forms, assess preventability, and make recommendations for action.

University of Utah Health, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Corresponding author: Torri D. Metz, MD, MS, 30 North 1900 East, 2B200, Salt Lake City, UT 84132; email:

Financial Disclosure The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.

The author thanks David Goodman and Nicole Davis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Julie Zaharatos and Amy St Pierre from the CDC Foundation for reviewing this commentary for accuracy.

Dr. Metz is a member of the National Partnership to Eliminate Preventable Maternal Deaths. The views expressed in this commentary are her own and do not necessarily represent the views of all members of the National Partnership.

The author has indicated that she has met the journal's requirements for authorship.

Received April 24, 2018

Received in revised form June 14, 2018

Accepted July 05, 2018

© 2018 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.