CDC awards Pennsylvania $2.25 million grant to study maternal mortality |

CDC awards Pennsylvania $2.25 million grant to study maternal mortality

Emily Balser
Courtesy of Gov. Tom Wolf administration
Gov. Tom Wolf holds a newborn in an undated photo provided on the governor’s website.

Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration announced Tuesday it has received a $2.25 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study the cause of maternal deaths in the state after an increase in recent years.

Officials said the state Department of Health will receive the grant over five years. It will allow the department to hire more staff to coordinate and manage the Pennsylvania Maternal Mortality Review Committee, collect and analyze data and conduct reviews of pregnancy associated deaths.

“It’s imperative that we continue to take immediate action to determine the reasons for these deaths and to develop prevention recommendations,” Wolf said in a press release.

From 2012-2016, there was an increase in maternal deaths with 11.4 deaths per 100,000 live births in Pennsylvania, officials said.

The maternal mortality review committee reviews all pregnancy-associated deaths in the commonwealth, regardless of cause of death. Pregnancy-associated deaths are the death of a woman during pregnancy, or up to one year after pregnancy, regardless of the outcome of the pregnancy. This includes drug-related deaths, homicides and suicides.

The committee determines if the death was related to the pregnancy, identifies contributing factors, determines if the death could have been prevented and makes recommendations to prevent future deaths.

Money will also go toward the Philadelphia Maternal Mortality Review Committee so it can access resources needed to combine its efforts with the state Department of Health’s.

“Improving health during pregnancy and the postpartum period is essential for the well-being of mothers, infants, families and communities,” said state Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine.

According to the state Department of Health, in both the United States and Pennsylvania, there are racial and ethnic disparities in maternal health and maternal mortality. In Pennsylvania, African American women are three times more likely to die during or after pregnancy than white women.

According to the CDC, the cause of death for pregnancy-related deaths include hemorrhage, infection or sepsis, amniotic fluid embolism, thrombotic pulmonary or other embolism, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, anesthesia complications, cerebrovascular accidents or accidents related to the brain, cardiomyopathy, other cardiovascular conditions and other non-cardiovascular medical conditions.

Most pregnancy-related deaths occur after pregnancy, the CDC said. Among these deaths nationally, 31% occur while pregnant, 36% occur at delivery or in the week after, and 33% occur one week to one year after pregnancy.

Categories: News | Health Now | Pennsylvania
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.