Keeping Current @ the Capitol: Maternal Mortality Study Committee, Meeting Three

Author: HMHBGA Staff

The third convening of the House Maternal Mortality Study Committee (MMSC) was held November 7 at 1:00-3:00PM. The MMSC is chaired by Chairwoman Sharon Cooper (Marietta) and Chairman Mark Newton (Augusta). Legislative members of the MMSC include Representatives Chuck Efstration (Dacula), Deborah Silcox (Sandy Springs), Darlene Taylor (Thomasville), Carolyn Hugley (Columbus), and Valencia Stovall (Forest Park). Dr. Chad Ray and Dr. Jane Ellis also serve as citizen members of the MMSC.

This meeting focused on women’s public health initiatives, maternal cardiology, maternal stroke, and new hemorrhaging technology. To watch a recording of the meeting visit here. Below is a summary of what was discussed.

Dianne Durrence – Women’s Health Director, Georgia Department of Public Health

  • Findings from the 2015 cases of the Maternal Mortality Review Committee will be available prior to the 2020 session. In addition, 2016-2017 cases will be reviewed in 2020 and 2018-2019 cases in 2021.
  • As of November 1, 2019, Georgia Perinatal Quality Collaborative (GaPQC) initiatives around postpartum hemorrhage, severe hypertension, and neonatal abstinence syndrome have been implemented in 62 hospitals, impacting 87% of Georgia’s births.
  • Provider shortages and hospital closures across the State have affected access to maternal care. Eleven labor and delivery units have closed in the last seven years and 89 counties do not have obstetric providers.

Gina Price Lundberg, MD – Clinical Director of Emory Women’s Cardiovascular Health Center

  • Nationally, 70% of maternal hemorrhage deaths and 68.2% of maternal cardiovascular & coronary deaths are preventable.
  • Given the physiological changes that women experience during the prenatal period, pregnancy is oftentimes the body’s first stress test. Access to primary care during the preconception period allows for better management of risk factors that may worsen during pregnancy.
  • It is important for providers to see a woman with a cardiovascular event during pregnancy within six months after delivery.

Jaimie Chausmer, FNP-C – Northside Hospital Cardiovascular Care

  • Preeclampsia occurs in about 3%-8% of pregnancies across the U.S.
  • The Maternal Heart Health Clinic at Northside Hospital was established in 2014. It is a referral-based clinic that screens and educates news moms about their risk for cardiovascular disease.
  • Ways to address maternal cardiovascular care includes:
    • Improve prenatal care access
    • Increase education on warning signs
    • Extend Medicaid coverage up to one year postpartum

Diogo C. Haussen, MD – Neurology, Grady Health

  • Incidence of stroke have increased from 1994-1995 to 2006-2007 in the U.S. There was a 47% increase during the prenatal period and an 83% increase in the postpartum period.
  • While subarachnoid hemorrhage occurs in 0.01%-0.05% of pregnancies, there is a five time higher risk among pregnant women when compared to non-pregnant women of the same age.
  • Prenatal and primary access are essential in improving maternal outcomes as it relates to neurological events.

Siddarth Satish – Chief Executive Officer, Gauss Surgical

  • A study assessing New Jersey and Georgia’s hospital hemorrhage policies found that only 11.6% of hospitals quantified blood loss after a vaginal birth and 8.4% after a cesarean section.
  • Gauss Surgical’s Triton Quantity Blood Loss technology provides real-time assessment to accurately quantify blood loss during and after birth.
  • Over 75 hospitals have implemented Triton technology, affecting 250,000 deliveries annually. Rigorous evaluation of impact found significant increases in hemorrhage detection, decreases in transfusions and length of stay, and a return on investment with lab and blood costs.

The next Maternal Mortality Study Committee meeting will be held November 21 from 1:00-3:00PM.