Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review (PAMR)
Maternal health outcomes help assess the overall well-being of communities. In the United States, where the maternal mortality rate is the highest among all developed countries, the deaths of mothers happen far too often. The Louisiana Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review (PAMR) Committee works to understand pregnancy-associated deaths through epidemiological surveillance and multidisciplinary case review. A pregnancy-associated death is defined as a death that occurs during pregnancy or within one year of the end of pregnancy, regardless of the cause. The purpose of this review is to bring awareness to this public health issue and to create actionable recommendations to prevent future deaths. The latest report and supplemental materials can be found below.
What Do We Know?
Maternal deaths are not isolated events. We cannot fully understand disparities in maternal health outcomes without understanding the role of health inequities. Systemic issues such as racism and implicit biases impact our environmental conditions, sources of social support, economic security, and the quality of care we receive. All of these are social factors important for living healthy lives. Placing health equity at the center of all work combatting maternal mortality helps us improve health outcomes for everyone.
Important PAMR Data Highlights:
- From 2017 to 2019 in Louisiana, there were 182 pregnancy-associated deaths.
- After decreasing 13% from 2017-2018, pregnancy-associated deaths increased by 14% from 2018-2019.
- 80% of pregnancy-related deaths were found to be potentially preventable.
- Significant racial disparities show that Black women are 2x more likely to die from a pregnancy-associated cause than White women.
- 33% of pregnancy-associated deaths with substance use disorder as a contributing factor also had a mental health condition.
What Can Be Done?
Maternal mortality affects everyone. Each death represents a life lost, a family changed. Eliminating these outcomes will take all of us. Together, using our roles as individuals, family members, healthcare providers, and policymakers, we can create solutions and help our Louisiana communities thrive.
Get involved with some recommendations for prevention led by the Bureau of Family Health:
- Improving care coordination before, during, and after pregnancy. Providers can refer patients to the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV). This program connects families with personalized support and coaching from nurses and parent educators.
- Improving the identification and treatment for substance use and mental health conditions during pregnancy. The Louisiana Mental Health Perinatal Partnership (LAMHPP) provides a no-cost mental health consultation line to providers working with pregnant and postpartum patients. Give them a call at 504-988-9171.
- Ensuring pregnant people receive the appropriate level of care. Birthing facilities can work with the Louisiana Perinatal Quality Collaborative (LaPQC) on improving birth outcomes through work such as the Safe Births Initiative. Contact LaPQC@la.gov to learn how you can contribute.
Find more recommendations for how you can do your part to prevent maternal mortality in the latest report and supplemental materials listed below.