SSN Testimony

Testimony before the New Orleans City Council in Support of the Creation of an Office of Maternal and Child Health

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Below is an excerpt from a testimony presented for the New Orleans City Council on November 7, 2019.

Between 2011 and 2016, maternal mortality caused 47 deaths per 100,000 births (number 50 in the country); and 45 per 100,000 in 2018 (number 49) in Louisiana. Maternal mortality is caused by hemorrhage, cardiomyopathy, cardiovascular disease; about half are preventable (comparable to other states); many relate to chronic disease. Trauma is the leading non-birth related cause of maternal mortality.

Severe maternal morbidity includes potentially life-threatening or disabling conditions like: renal failure, puerperal sepsis, hemorrhage/transfusion, active HIV, cardiomyopathy, pre-eclampsia, HELLP, ICU admission, surgical complications, cardiac complications, assisted ventilation, stroke, sickle cell crisis, and cardiac arrest. Occurrence of severe maternal morbidity raises costs by 37% for commercial insurance and 47% for Medicaid. One estimate indicates that this affects 135.8 out of every 10,000 patients. Thus, for every maternal death, there are at least 70 pregnancy-related complications that are potentially life-threatening or permanently disabling, and they are estimated to be, 50-60% preventable.