Washington will now have a Maternal Mortality Review Commission which was created by a bill I sponsored that was signed into law by the governor on Friday. Pregnancy-related deaths have been on the rise nationally during the past 30 years from a rate of 7.2 per 100,000 live births in 1987, to 15.9 in 2012.
The expert panel will review the current state of pregnancy health in order to make recommendations and develop best practices.
Bringing together health care experts to collaborate on best practices and share essential information will help save lives. Right now our state is missing out on key opportunities to improve health care for women as reports indicate that up to 60 percent of maternal deaths may be preventable.
Similar work in California, which is one of 20 states with similar panels, has lowered the state’s maternal mortality rate by two-thirds after identifying obstetric hemorrhage and pregnancy related hypertension as leading causes of death.