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 (AWHONN) launched a multi-year, three-pronged initiative to improve the treatment of pregnancy related complications. The first initiative focuses on improving the treatment of obstetric hemorrhage —one of the leading causes of death during labor and delivery.
AWHONN’s Postpartum Hemorrhage (PPH) Project has brought together 54 birthing hospitals in Georgia and New Jersey to assess and improve clinical practices. Additional hospitals in the District of Columbia are expected to join the PPH Project later this year. Approximately 125,000 women and their families (each year) will benefit from the PPH Project. Oconee Regional Medical Center is a participating hospital, and a full list of the participating hospitals is available at www.pphproject.org.
While two to three women die every day in the U.S. from pregnancy-related complications, more than half of these deaths may be preventable. Incidents of obstetric hemorrhage (or bleeding too much during childbirth) 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 percent. African-American women are disproportionately affected by birthing complications with three to four times more deaths than women of all other racial and ethnic groups.
Andi Smith, MSN, RNC, nurse manager of A Place for Women at ORMC, says, “As a rural hospital, Oconee Regional Medical Center provides essential health care services to our community. We are committed to providing women with quality care during labor and delivery. By participating in the Postpartum Hemorrhage Project we will help to identify best practices for treating postpartum hemorrhage and work with national experts to share this knowledge. Our goal is to reduce preventable maternal deaths and make mothers and babies safer. We are honored to have been selected to participate in this initiative.”