SSN Testimony

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

Connect with the author

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.