The Alabama Maternal Mortality Committee completed its inaugural year, reviewing a full year’s worth of maternal deaths in the state of Alabama. During the review process of each maternal death, the committee ensures that the cause of death is recorded correctly, weighs in on whether or not the death was preventable, and makes recommendations to prevent similar deaths in the future. The Alabama Perinatal Quality Collaborative, a separate entity, will use the MMRC’s recommendations to implement state-wide changes and reforms so that together we can improve reduce maternal mortality and morbidity in the state of Alabama.
The work we have done this year has been incredibly eye-opening. While formal data analyses are not yet available, trends became clear over the course of the year. We need better infrastructure to provide mental health care before, during, and after pregnancy; substance use continues to be a major issue for the women of our state; and we absolutely must keep a laser focus on ensuring that equal care is available to all women regardless of race, ethnicity, geographic location, insurance status, socioeconomic status, disability status, or citizenship.
We are very grateful for the funding recently allocated to this committee so that the work can continue. We need to continue to track these tragic cases so we can find ways to reduce the rates of maternal mortality in the future. Funding and support must continue until preventable maternal deaths no longer exist.
Dr. Lindsay Robbins, MD, MPH
OB/GYN, Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellow
University of Alabama at Birmingham