State gets $2 million to research maternal mortality

Baby feet (Source: Shutterstock/bogonet)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — Indiana has received a five-year grant from the CDC to improve the state's maternal mortality review process.

The grant totals more than $400,000 each year. The state plans to develop and implement policies and protocols to address health concerns for pregnant women:

  • Prevent maternal illness
  • Improve timely recognition of early warning signs
  • Ensure appropriate action after detecting warning signs
  • Provide effective follow-ups after discharge

"Accurately capturing what is happening when pregnant women die with no immediately obvious cause will help us create prevention programs at the local, state and national levels," said Gretchen Martin, director of the ISDH Division of Fatality Review and Prevention. "We’re grateful for the ability to support our healthcare partners and local maternal mortality review teams in their efforts to investigate and document these tragedies as we look for ways to keep them from happening in the future."

Indiana was one of 25 grant recipients. In addition to implementing new policies, the state also hopes to improve data collection. The goal is to review every pregnancy-related and pregnancy-associated maternal death in the state by the fifth year of the grant.

Pregnancy-related maternal deaths are specific to deaths that are a result of a complication, a chain of events initiated by pregnancy, or the aggravation of an unrelated condition due to the physiologic effects of pregnancy. Pregnancy-associated deaths are all maternal deaths, regardless of the cause.

ISDH's Maternal Mortality Review committee will take on the task of looking into the deaths.