The Virginia General Assembly has passed HB 2546, legislation creating a maternal mortality review team within the Virginia Department of Health.
“There is nothing more precious than a mother bringing a newborn child into this world” said Speaker Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights). “Sadly, too many mothers are dying from preventable childbirth complications and many more suffering severe injuries during childbirth. This legislation will strengthen our healthcare system and protect mothers.”
According to a recent study by USA Today, approximately 700 mothers die from pregnancy or childbirth complications and another 50,000 suffer severe injuries each year in the United States. The legislation will require the Department of Health to review the rate of pregnancy-associated and pregnancy-related deaths in the Commonwealth, identify risk factors of pregnancy-associated or pregnancy-related deaths, identify other factors contributing to pregnancy-associated and pregnancy-related deaths, and develop recommendations for prevention and intervention programs to reduce the rate of pregnancy-associated and pregnancy-related deaths in the Commonwealth.
The bill also requires certain health care providers, law-enforcement officers, funeral directors, or other persons having knowledge of pregnancy-associated and pregnancy-related deaths to report such deaths.
“This legislation specifically requires the review team to report this data, which will lead to improved best practices, better and more uniform standards of care,” said Delegate Roxann Robinson (R – Chesterfield). “Above all, this will go a long ways to reducing our maternal mortality rate.”