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Can we possibly do more? Maternal mortality strikes home, for everybody.

By Eleni Tsigas, Preeclampsia Foundation Executive Director

In a recent Washington Post article, work underway at the CDC was showcased as an example of what data we need to collect to make a dent in the rising rate of moms dying giving birth. The Preeclampsia Foundation stands squarely behind these efforts, as our goal is to ensure no mother or baby dies or suffers health consequences from preeclampsia or HELLP syndrome.

Our zeal is tangible. We have been strong advocates, speaking on behalf of patients, at state and national meetings where these state-level initiatives are being developed. Early next month, for instance, I’ll be speaking at a statewide health disparities meeting in Texas - a state that finally legislated the creation of a maternal mortality task force in 2013, but did not appropriate funding for it, possibly slowing down or limiting its effectiveness. And there are some very motivated physicians, patients, and health department leaders who would like to see progress there!  

Today we hosted a Twitter Town Hall with several members of Congress in recognition of Preeclampsia Awareness Month, but with the more overt agenda of ensuring bi-partisan attention on preeclampsia and its contribution to these staggering US maternal mortality rates. Shout-outs to representatives from both sides of the aisle who recognize that when it comes to healthy pregnancies and the babies they produce, there is no “right” or “left” point of view. We all have to be in this together!

In addition to our serving on several of the state task forces that have analyzed the data behind preeclampsia–related deaths and subsequently developed toolkits, checklists, and other improved standards of care for healthcare providers, we are also working to develop federal legislation to support additional state efforts to develop maternal mortality review committees.

Preeclampsia Awareness Month offers an opportunity for everybody to grab an infographic, a message, a tweet or make a donation to get the public fired up, or at least informed, so we can stop these senseless deaths now! All mothers and babies deserve better.


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