Mapping Out Maternal Mortality




Kade, Laura


0000-0001-5650-8653 (Kade, Laura)

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Purpose: The rising maternal mortality (MM) rate in the United States is a pressing concern that mandates immediate action. One of the highest state-level MM rates belongs to Texas, where almost 80% of deaths are deemed to be preventable. Biomedical approaches have previously been prioritized, but the issue is unfolding to be much more complex. To better understand MM in Texas, it is necessary to identify the multidisciplinary teams involved in prevention efforts and how they are linked. Methods: A web-based search of the terms "maternal mortality" and "maternal mortality in Texas" was conducted via Google, Google Scholar, and PubMed to identify organizations involved in pregnancy care and MM prevention efforts. The systems thinking approach was used to map out organizational connections. Results: Ten prominent organizations were identified at the international (2), national (4), and state (4) level that conducted a range of functions such as surveillance, research, recommendations, funding, and advocacy. Higher rates of collaborative work were observed among state level organizations, where a partnership was identified. Inconsistencies across all organizational levels, in regard to the MM definition and tracking, resulted in duplicate analyses and misclassification errors. Dismissal of national level recommendations at the state level led to deficits in protective services. Conclusion: While all of the organizations provided vital services to combat MM, a lack of standardization suggested that the full scope of MM is unknown. Additionally, further expansion of interrelations, and a reduction of counterintuitive practices is needed to make a greater impact on MM.