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Maternal Mortality

The Kansas Department of Health & Environment (KDHE) Bureau of Family Health is responsible for administering the Title V Maternal & Child Health (MCH) Block Grant Program which involves monitoring, researching, and evaluating health status and conducting activities to identify and address community health problems. Within the population of women of reproductive age, maternal mortality is an indicator that is monitored by KDHE pursuant to K.S.A. 65-177. Maternal mortality is considered a sentinel (patient safety) event that warrants close scrutiny.

Kansas Maternal Mortality Review

An increasing national and state trend in maternal and pregnancy-associated deaths indicates the need to conduct maternal mortality review in order to gain insight into the medical and social factors leading to these events and to prevent future occurrences. In 2018 KDHE established the Kansas Maternal Mortality Review Committee (MMRC). The committee consists of 25-35 geographically diverse members representing various specialties, facilities, and systems that interact and impact maternal health.

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About Maternal Mortality Review (MMR)

Maternal mortality, or deaths from pregnancy-related causes, have been rising in the United States. Pregnancy-related deaths increased from seven deaths per 100,000 live births in 1987 to nearly 16 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2012. Maternal health experts actively search for answers about why the ratio of pregnancy-related deaths in the United States is higher than other developed nations, why it is increasing, and why the disparity by race/ethnicity is widening. State-level maternal mortality review committees - the gold standard for maternal mortality surveillance - have a critical role in answering these questions. Maternal mortality review committee members serve as key stakeholders in prevention efforts. In order to accurately count and characterize maternal deaths, individuals involved in the surveillance process should familiarize themselves with key definitions in maternal mortality and how they are used in maternal mortality review. Source: Review to Action


Maternal Deaths: The death of a woman while pregnant and within 42 days of termination of pregnancy.

Pregnancy-Associated Death: The death of any woman, from any cause, while pregnant or within one calendar year of termination of pregnancy.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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