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New Jersey hospitals partner with AWHONN to prevent maternal deaths


With U.S. women experiencing a greater risk of death from pregnancy-related complications than women in 46 other countries, the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses has launched an initiative to improve the treatment of pregnancy related complications. The initiative will begin with a focus on improving the treatment of obstetric hemorrhage — one of the leading causes of death during labor and delivery.
AWHONN’s Postpartum Hemorrhage Project has brought together 58 birthing hospitals in New Jersey and Georgia to assess and improve clinical practices, according to a news release. Additional hospitals in the District of Columbia are expected to join the project later this year. Approximately 125,000 women and their families each year will benefit from the PPH Project. A full list of the participating hospitals is available on
Participating hospitals joined the initiative because of their interest in shaping and improving postpartum hemorrhage clinical practices, according to the release. During the next year and a half, they will work with national experts to identify best practices for treatment.
“By participating in the Postpartum Hemorrhage Project, these hospitals are leading the way in providing women quality care during labor and delivery,” AWHONN CEO Lynn Erdman, RN, MN, FAAN, said in the release. “Maternal deaths can largely be prevented, and AWHONN is working to help keep mothers and babies safe.”
Supported by a grant from Merck for Mothers, AWHONN’s Postpartum Hemorrhage Project is designed to increase clinician recognition of women at greatest risk of obstetric hemorrhage; increase early recognition of women who are bleeding too much; increase the readiness of clinical team preparedness to successfully respond to obstetric hemorrhage; and improve clinician response to obstetric hemorrhage.
Additional practice improvements will include identifying barriers to treating obstetric hemorrhage, sharing clinical best practices and identifying how to more effectively implement similar improvements in all hospitals in the United States.
While two to three women die every day in the U.S. from pregnancy-related complications, more than half of these deaths are preventable, according to the release. Incidents of obstetric hemorrhage have increased in recent years along with an overuse of inductions of labor.
Research suggests that women who have inductions of labor have a greater risk of experiencing postpartum hemorrhage. Between 1999 and 2009, the number of women who received blood transfusions during and immediately after childbirth increased by 183%, the release said. Black women are disproportionately affected by birthing complications with three to four times more deaths than women of all other racial and ethnic groups.


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