Connecticut Maternal Mortality Review Program to Reduce CT Maternal Deaths
Applicant Name: State of Connecticut Department of Public Health
Address: 410 Capitol Ave., Hartford, CT 06134
PI /Contact: Kathryn Britos-Swain, Nurse Consultant
Phone: (860) 509-8180 Fax: (860) 509-7720
The State of Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) has coordinated a Maternal Mortality Review Program (MMRP), located in the Community, Family Health and Prevention Section, for the past two decades. However, it was not until 2018, that CT was finally able to pass legislation in the CT General Assembly, Public Act 18-150, granting statutory authority to CT DPH to convene a multidisciplinary Maternal Mortality Review Committee (MMRC) to review all CT maternal deaths, determine preventability and produce recommendations for prevention opportunities throughout the state.
This project will build on efforts taken by the DPH MMRP and Maternal and Child Health Title V Program to comprehensively conduct a multidisciplinary review of maternal deaths in CT. Expanding the review committee via statute now encompasses professionals from a large spectrum of experts who have valuable input in determining maternal death identification.
In Connecticut, there are approximately 35,000 annual births a year, and within a given year, 15-20 maternal deaths have been identified. Through the work of the MMRC, CT identifies and characterizes these maternal deaths as Pregnancy-Related or Pregnancy-Associated maternal deaths, which are approximately 8-10 maternal deaths per year. The committee is charged with excluding deaths that, though tragic, were not classified in either of these two categories.
The current legislation lists appointed members of the CT MMRC. This is now a multidisciplinary committee which provides valuable input and expertise to each individual maternal death. The co-chairs have requested additional members, which include the MCH Title V Director, and a consumer, a recent mother who had complications while giving birth, which lends an incredible first hand glimpse into the harrowing experiences mothers may experience in childbirth. At this current time, there are 22 members in the CT MMRC.
The goals of the CT MMRC dovetail with the CDC’s to: 1) perform a multidisciplinary review of maternal deaths, from the prenatal through 1 year postpartum; 2) identify the actual number of maternal deaths related to pregnancy (pregnancy-related mortality) and those that are pregnancy associated; 3) establish trends/risk factors from the data collected of pregnancy-related deaths in CT; 4) assemble recommendations based on the trends/risk factors that could lead to improvement in care at the provider and system levels with the potential for reducing maternal complications; 5) document and triage findings/recommendations to support preventive policy changes; 6) disseminate with the public, policy makers and providers reasonable strategies to implement for prevention and 7) to translate findings/recommendations into quality improvement actions.