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Doing better by Conn. women

November 28, 2018

To the editor,

As practicing Ob-Gyns in Connecticut, we share many of the same concerns about the rate of maternal deaths in Connecticut outlined in “Silence over mothers dying in childbirth” (Susan Campbell column , Sept. 23). We join the author in feeling heartbreak over Maura Gallagher’s death and agree we must do better by Connecticut women.

There were eight pregnancy-related deaths in Connecticut between 2011-2014, the last year with data available. There must be deliberate and expedient effort to correct these outcomes. Fortunately, this effort is at least partly underway.

This year, the Connecticut section of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology (ACOG) partnered with the Connecticut State Medical Society to draft legislation to establish a legitimate Maternal Mortality Review Committee (MMRC) housed within the Department of Public Health. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Dannel Malloy in June, and went into effect Oct. 1. It expands the range of expertise on the committee to ensure data review can be done quickly, comprehensively, and with the input of multiple perspectives. The committee will include two representatives from ACOG, among other experts.

Adequate funding remains critical to the effectiveness of this work. Proper funding helps to ensure that the MMRC can complete a robust review of Connecticut’s maternal deaths data and implement informed solutions to improve maternal outcomes. This is especially for African American women, who in the United States are nearly four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women.

One maternal death is too many maternal deaths. We must fully fund and empower every effort to advance solutions to support Connecticut mothers.

Julia Cron, MD

Abigail Cutler, MD

Connecticut Section, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology

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