Over Half of All Maternal Deaths in Hospitals Occur Earlier in Pregnancy, After Delivery

According to a study published in JAMA, hospitals that occur in the antenatal and postpartum period accounted for almost half of in-hospital maternal mortality.

Lindsay Admon and colleagues at the University of Michigan studied the long-term trends in inpatient death rates among pregnant and postpartum individuals. They also analyzed the proportion of deaths during different phases of pregnancy: antenatal, delivery, and postpartum. The researchers used data from the National Inpatient Sample from 1994 to 2015 and 2017 to 2019.

“Maternal mortality rates are high in the United States, higher than as seen in all other industrialized countries,” said Admon, the study’s lead author.

According to the study, between 1994 and 2015, there were about 12,654 inpatient deaths among pregnant women out of a total of 84,181,338 hospitalizations. They also found that between 1994 to 1995 and 2014 to 2015, inpatient deaths during delivery declined from 10.6 to 4.7 per 100,000 delivery hospitalization, a decrease of almost fifty-six percent. In addition, the rate of inpatient deaths in antenatal and postpartum periods remained unchanged.

Furthermore, the researchers found that between 2017-2019, antenatal and postpartum hospitalizations accounted for less than ten percent of all inpatient states. However, during this period, prenatal and postpartum hospitalizations accounted for almost half of in-hospital maternal mortality (21.6% of prenatal and 33.1% of postpartum inpatient deaths occurred during these periods).

“It’s important to note that it appears progress has been made in lowering the rate of maternal death at the time of childbirth,” Admon said. “At the same time, we know that maternal mortality continues to increase in the U.S. To further lower rates of maternal death occurring in the hospital, we need to focus not only on the time of delivery but also examine risks and complications occurring during antenatal and postpartum hospitalizations as well.”


Source: UOFMhealth

Journal source: JAMAnetwork