Require Hospitals to Publish Data on Pregnancy Outcomes

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Hospitals Are Failing Our Families

When the biggest risk to your health from getting pregnant is not a physical condition, but rather the hospital you plan to birth at, society has failed you. There are too many stories like ShaAsia's, Amber's and Cordielle's. There were 658 maternal deaths in 2018. How many were completely preventable? We cannot tolerate the continued abject failure by a system who's express job is to protect pregnant people and keep them healthy and safe. The doctor that killed ShaAsia Washington had a history of patient complaints, a history of racist medicine--using larger needles for Black and brown people--a history of abuse. Yet he was allowed to continue to work.  Amber Isaac, Tweeted the day before she died about the subpar care she was receiving at Montefiore.  LaShonda Hazard, a year prior, in Rhode Island, similarly posted complaints about her hospital on Facebook page the day before she and her baby both died.  In New York, Black women are as much as 12 times more likely to die in childbirth or from pregnancy or birth related complications than white women. The United States is the only industrialized country with continually increasing rates of maternal mortality and morbidity.   There is no excuse.  Right now, the CDC requests that states volunteer their death certificates of any person who died within the time they were pregnant or within a year after birth. In New York, hospitals are not required to report or publish data about maternal mortality to the public.  The erasure of data allows hospitals to hide behind positive outcomes: high vaginal birth rates, high rates of VBACs. Lack of data omits the truth of those who have been injured or lost, and those who are left behind.  We must demand hospitals publish data  annually about their maternal and fetal mortality and morbidity rates, not only in New York, but around the United States, as well. This data should not be voluntary, it should be mandatory. 

Jessica Pournaras
2 years ago