Partnering of Public, Academic, and Private Entities to Reestablish Maternal Mortality Review in Georgia

Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Sep;130(3):636-640. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000002204.


The pregnancy-related mortality ratio in the United States has increased over the past 25 years. Georgia's pregnancy-related mortality ratio is among the highest in the United States. Confronted with this harsh reality, Georgia reestablished maternal mortality review as one strategy to address its high maternal mortality. To achieve a comprehensive process for review of maternal deaths involved securing the knowledge, resources, and support of physician experts, public health agencies and professional organizations as well as representatives in the state legislature. The six key steps in successfully reinstating maternal mortality review were 1) establishing a maternal mortality advisory committee, 2) developing a defined methodology for comprehensive case identification, 3) convening an introductory maternal mortality review committee meeting, 4) securing legislative protection for the committee, 5) conducting a mock mortality review, and 6) completing a formal first-year case review and producing a summary report of initial findings. This first case review revealed the leading causes of pregnancy-related deaths in Georgia as hemorrhage, hypertension, cardiac disease, embolism, and seizures. Our objective in this commentary is to share our experiences and advocate for engaging public, private, and academic partners in working on complex and multifactorial public health issues such as high maternal mortality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Georgia
  • Humans
  • Maternal Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Maternal Mortality*
  • Pregnancy