Maternal mortality is a sentinel event that is a crucial indicator of a nation’s health. Maternal mortality can indicate systemic challenges, such as poor health care quality and social challenges.
The rate of reported pregnancy-related maternal deaths has been rising in the United States. Pregnancy-related maternal deaths are also increasing in Georgia. A pregnancy-related maternal death is a death that occurs during pregnancy or within one year of the end of pregnancy. The death is caused by a complication of the woman being pregnant, a chain of events that began as a result of the woman being pregnant, or the aggravation of an unrelated condition by the effects of pregnancy.
To combat the steadily increasing maternal mortality rate, Georgia has ongoing efforts to systematically collect and comprehensively review maternal deaths. Georgia is committed to strengthening the capacity to collect robust data, efficiently identify maternal deaths, recognize the determinants and distribution of the health issue and act to prevent maternal deaths.
Maternal Mortality Review Committee
The Georgia Maternal Mortality Review Committee (MMRC) identifies maternal deaths occurring during or within a year of the end of a pregnancy and reviews each case to determine pregnancy-relatedness, causes, and contributing factors, and to make recommendations for interventions to reduce future deaths. This multidisciplinary committee is comprised of physicians, nurses, public health workers and epidemiologists. Since the development of the MMRC in 2013, the committee has completed reviews of maternal deaths from 2012-2020.
Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 31-2A-16) provides the committee with the authority to collect data for a maternal death case review. It also ensures the confidentiality of the case reviews and provides for legal protections for committee members.
To develop a better understanding of the causes of maternal death in Georgia, increase awareness of the issues surrounding pregnancy-associated death, and promote changes in systems, communities, and individuals in order to reduce the number of deaths.
All women in Georgia would have equitable access to health and health care before, during and after pregnancy to eliminate all preventable maternal deaths in Georgia.
All Georgia physicians, laboratories, and other health care providers are required by law (O.C.G.A. § 31-12-2) to report the death of a woman during or within 1 year of the end of pregnancy, irrespective of cause, within 7 days. To report a maternal death, navigate to the Maternal Mortality report form in SendSS, the State Electronic Notifiable Disease Surveillance System. If you have questions about reporting or need assistance, email [email protected] or call the DPH Epidemiology Section at 1-866-PUB-HLTH or 404-657-2850.
Page last updated 12/7/23