In the News - Alabama passes law banning abortion
Legislation passed in Alabama is the most restrictive abortion bill in the US. It makes carrying out an abortion at any stage in pregnancy illegal even criminalizing abortion in cases of rape and incest. Doctors carrying out the procedure could face up to 99 years in jail.
Abortions would only be legal in cases where the mother’s life is in danger or if the fetus has a fatal condition. Many groups and organizations are planning to challenge the bill.
There are several countries around the world where there are also restrictions or bans on abortions including Northern Ireland, Malta, Philippines and Poland.
Safety culture can positively impact surgical outcomes
This study into the influence of hospital safety culture on surgical outcomes highlights the positive impact safety culture can have. Those hospitals that reported a positive safety culture were significantly associated with lower risk of postoperative morbidity. The study concludes:
‘Hospital safety culture can influence certain surgical patient outcomes. Improving the safety culture within a hospital can represent a previously unrecognized approach that can be leveraged to strengthen surgical quality improvement efforts at the hospital level.’
The study can be found here.
Translating Maternal Mortality Review into Quality Improvement Opportunities in Response to Pregnancy-Related Deaths in California
An article has been published looking at improvement opportunities from the maternal mortality review in California. The study looked at readiness, recognition and response allocating data from 203 pregnancy related deaths into one of the 3 categories. Opportunities for improvement relating to each category were identified:
Read the study here.
Pregnancy related deaths report
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published a report into pregnancy related deaths. It highlights that around 700 women die each in the US from pregnancy related complications estimating that 3 in 5 of these could be prevented.
Figures in the study outline the statistics for the 2011 – 2015 period. The split is relatively even between deaths happening during pregnancy, at delivery or up to 1 week after and 1 week to 1 year postpartum. Heart disease and stroke were the cause of over 1/3 of the deaths and Black and American Indian/Alaska Native women were about 3 times as likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause.
Although heart disease was one of the main causes of death other causes differ depending on the stage of pregnancy or postpartum period. Most deaths during delivery are caused by obstetric emergencies for example excessive bleeding and in the week after delivery bleeding and infections are common. Some of the factors that play a part in deaths include women’s access to care, missed/delay diagnosis and failure to recognise warning signs.
The report provides some recommendations for what all stakeholders can do:
The full report and further resources are available here.
SMFM guidance - Immediate postpartum long-acting reversible contraception for women at high risk for medical complication
New guidance on Immediate postpartum long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) for women at high risk for medical complications has been published by the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine. The document has been designed to educate all providers about the benefits of postpartum contraception, and to advocate for widespread implementation of immediate postpartum LARC placement programs.
Recommendations from SMFM are:
This Week in Maternity - Safer Care Victoria Report, Maternal Mental Health and International day of the Midwife
International Day of the Midwife
The 5th May marks the International Day of the Midwife, a day to recognise and celebrate the work done by midwives around the world. The theme this year is ‘Midwives: Defenders of Womens Rights'.
The Virtual International Day of the Midwife is an online conference celebrating the day. There are speakers from around the world discussing a range of topics and it is free to attend!
The full programme can be found here.
Safe Care Victoria – Mothers, Babies and children report 2017
Safer Care Victoria has published their latest report on data and trends in maternal and fetal mortality and morbidity. The report on data from 2017 provides recommendation for clinicians and health service providers.
The recommendations relating to pregnancy and childbirth are:
In 2017 there were 78226 women who gave birth in Victoria, the number of women giving birth by cesarean section increase to 34.9% and ¼ experienced a postpartum haemorrhage. Those women gave birth to 79407 babies, 8.5% of which were born preterm with 7% with a birth weight of under 2500g.
The report outlines that there were 7 maternal deaths with suicide being one of the main causes. The number of perinatal deaths across 2017 was 702 with the main causes of congenital abnormality, spontaneous preterm and other specific perinatal conditions. It is thought that sub-optimal factors likely contributed to 20 stillbirths and 12 neonatal death. The recommendation highlighted above are designed to address some of the factors found to be related to sub-optimal care.
The full report with all statistics and recommendations can be read here.
Maternal Mental Health Awareness
The 1st of May, World Maternal Mental Health Awareness day, marked the start of Maternal Mental Health Month. The initiative is aimed at highlighting and promoting the experiences of women and their families and providing information on the resources and support available.
To recognise and support the initiative we will be sharing information and resources across our social media platforms. You can follow along with the #MaternalMentalHealth.