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Maternal Mortality Review


According to the CDC, Oklahoma persistently ranks among the states with the worst rates (40th) of maternal deaths in the U.S. Between 2017-2019, the Oklahoma maternal mortality rate was 23.5 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. This is above the national average of 20.1 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births and above the Healthy People 2030 target goal of 15.7.

Maternal Mortality is viewed as an indicator of the overall effectiveness of the obstetrical and the general health care systems. Elements that contribute to higher rates must be identified and eliminated. Through appropriate interventions, prevention of risks, and reduction of racial disparities, these mortality rates can be dramatically decreased.

The Maternal Mortality Review Committee (MMRC) is an essential community process used to enhance and improve services to women, infants and their families. These qualitative, in-depth reviews investigate the causes and circumstances surrounding a maternal death in order to provide a better future for women, infants and families.

The Oklahoma MMRC operates through the Oklahoma State Department of Health. Deaths of women of childbearing age are reviewed to determine if the death might be classified as pregnancy related or pregnancy associated and if there is any chance the death could have been prevented.

These efforts are designed to:

• Improve and enhance public health efforts to reduce and prevent maternal death in Oklahoma.
• Improve identification of maternal deaths in order to interpret trends, identify high-risk groups, and develop effective interventions.
• Utilize review information to identify health care system issues and gaps in service delivery and care.
• Develop action plans and preventive strategies to implement recommendations in communities and provider networks.

Interventions, strategies and the development of systems that increase knowledge and decrease pregnancy-related mortality will serve not only to improve the health of women and children but will provide overwhelming benefits for all Oklahomans.


Resources


Contact Information

Leanna Harkess, APRN, CNP, CNM
Phone: (405) 426-8094

Mailing Address:
Oklahoma State Department of Health
Perinatal and Reproductive Health Division
123 Robert S. Kerr Ave., Suite 1702
Oklahoma City, OK 73102-6406

Physical Address:
Oklahoma State Department of Health
123 Robert S. Kerr Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK

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