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Setting National Standards Of Care Critical To Reducing Maternal Mortality In U.S.

Forbes: Our Abysmal Maternal Health Statistics And How To Improve Them
Bill Frist, former U.S. senator from Tennessee and chair of Hope Through Healing Hands, and Saketh R. Guntupalli, assistant professor of gynecologic oncology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine

“This past year, the United States received the dubious distinction of being one of only seven countries in the world … which have seen an increase in maternal mortality. … This begs the question: How can we lead the world in cutting-edge health innovation and medical discoveries, yet fall behind in this telling public health metric? … In Europe, countries … have adopted national hospital guidelines for high-risk pregnancies — an area where the U.S. lags behind. … National standards for hospitals should be adopted to ensure that women around the country with similar problems receive a baseline of care that is validated by experts. Additionally, a national database of maternal deaths should be implemented to best observe trends and adopt needed changes. … Setting the above standards, in addition to establishing a new approach to women’s health that focuses on the social determinants prior to pregnancy, will be vital to reducing maternal mortality. The U.S. should be the safest place in the world to have a child, but we have work to do to make that goal a reality” (10/12).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.