Maternal Mortality Review Program
Approximately 700 women die each year nationally from pregnancy-related complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System (PMSS) data for 2011-2015, and thirteen Maternal Mortality Review Committees (MMRCs) from 2013-2017.
They noted that approximately 60% of pregnancy-related deaths were determined to be preventable.
A pregnancy-related death is one that occurs during pregnancy or within one year of the end of a pregnancy from a pregnancy complication, a chain of events initiated by the pregnancy, or the aggravation of an unrelated condition by the physiologic effects of pregnancy.
A pregnancy-associated death is one from any cause during pregnancy or within one year of the end of pregnancy from a cause not related to the pregnancy.
For more definitions related to maternal mortality click here.
Leading causes of pregnancy-related maternal death are:
- Cardiovascular conditions (i.e. heart disease and stroke)
What is happening in Connecticut?
The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) administers the CT Maternal Mortality Review Program (MMRP). In June 2018, legislation was passed granting DPH the statutory authority to conduct a comprehensive, multidisciplinary review of maternal deaths for purpose of identifying factors associated with maternal deaths and to make recommendations to reduce risks. The Maternal Mortality Review Committee examines all potential pregnancy-related deaths and identifies whether it was pregnancy-associated, pregnancy-related death, or not related or associated to the pregnancy.
In 2018, Connecticut Public Act No. 18-150 was enacted for the Connecticut Department of Public Health to establish a Maternal Mortality Review Program and Maternal Mortality Review Committee (MMRC) to review maternal deaths, study the incidence of pregnancy complications, and make recommendations to improve maternal outcomes and reduce preventable risk.
Connecticut Maternal Mortality Review Program
The Connecticut Department of Public Health administers the CT Maternal Mortality Review Program and convenes a multi-disciplinary Maternal Mortality Review Committee (MMRC) to review all CT maternal deaths for pregnancy-relatedness and to develop recommendations for prevention at the patient, provider, facility, system or community levels. The chairpersons of the MMRC are the Commissioner of Public Health, or the commissioner's designee, and a representative designated by the CT State Medical Society.
Connecticut Maternal Mortality Review Committee
Identified cases of potential pregnancy-related maternal mortality are reviewed every other month by an inter-disciplinary Maternal Mortality Review Committee comprised of medical and non-medical personnel.
Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, the MMRC determines the pregnancy-relatedness and makes recommendations to prevent subsequent deaths.
Utilizing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Committee Decisions Form, V. 18, the Maternal Mortality Review Committee reviews de-identified case summaries to ensure consistency and uniformity in the case review process.
Resources for Parents
- Lost Mothers
- Kira Dixon YouTube Video
- 211 Postpartum Support Information
- Postpartum Support International
Resources for Clinicians
- Racial and Ethnic Disparities Continue in Pregnancy-Related Deaths
- CDC Pregnancy Related Deaths
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development
- NICHHD Pregnancy and Maternal Conditions that Increase Risk of Morbidity and Mortality Workshop:
- Changing the conversation: applying a health equity framework to maternal mortality reviews.
- Identifying Racism & Discrimination as Contributing Factors in Pregnancy.
- DPH's Amniotic Fluid Embolism webpage
CT Evaluation and Reports
CDC's Hear Her Campaign
CDC's Hear Her Campaign seeks to raise awareness of potentially life-threatening warning signs during and after pregnancy and improve communication between patients and their healthcare providers. It helps increase awareness of serious pregnancy-related complications and their warning signs, empowers women to speak up and raise concerns, encourages women’s support systems to engage in important conversations with her and provides tools for women and providers to better engage in life-saving conversations.
CDC Hear Her Campaign Video Clip English Spanish
CT Media Campaign
The CT Maternal Mortality Program has developed a media campaign to raise awareness of the Maternal Mortality Review Committee throughout Connecticut
The goal is to encourage women to speak up during pregnancy, at birth and during the postpartum year about any concerns, and to encourage providers to listen actively to a women’s concerns. A woman knows her body best and how she feels.
Call to Action - Changing the conversation: applying a health equity framework to maternal mortality reviews
The media campaign consists of:
Consumer Post Cards
Health Care Providers Informational Kit
Poster for use at Educational Events, the Legislative Office Building, CT malls
Newspaper advertisements in English and Spanish
Radio spots in English and Spanish
Targeted Digital Banner Ads that will be located on various media platforms and sites
Pocket handouts for legislators and policy makers at the Legislative Office Building
Internet Radio spots on Pandora and Spotify
Donna C. Maselli, RN, MPH Public Health Services Manager
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (860) 509-7505
Tina McCarthy Epidemiologist
E-mail: email@example.com Phone: (860) 509-8193
Connecticut State Department of Public Health
Community, Family Health, and Prevention Section
410 Capitol Avenue, MS# 11 MAT
Hartford, CT 06134-0308