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The Joint Commission seeks to reduce maternal deaths

The Joint Commission (TJC) has issued guidance and an alert to hospitals to help prevent what it calls a shocking number of women who die from typically preventable pregnancy complications.

The accreditation agency in October 2019 released Quick Safety Issue 51: Proactive Prevention of Maternal Death From Maternal Hemorrhage, published to help healthcare facilities respond to pregnancy-related complications and prevent pregnancy-related deaths.

The Joint Commission says that about 700 women die annually from these complications, stemming primarily from obstetric hemorrhage (excessive blood loss while giving birth). The accreditor notes that rates of maternal hemorrhage are increasing in developed countries, including the United States, leading to the need for increased attention to the problem.

As a result, the organization has introduced two new standards, effective July 1, 2020, that hospitals will need to adhere to address complications in maternal hemorrhage and severe hypertension/preeclampsia. The new standards fall into the Provision of Care, Treatment, and Services chapter of The Joint Commission’s Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Hospitals at PC.06.01.01 and PC.06.01.03.

“Recognizing all members of the health care team have vital roles in guiding women through their birth experience represents a challenge to some organizations,” The Joint Commission writes in the Quick Safety document. “Working as a team, with the end goal of safety for all who are touched by the birth experience, will help to improve the health and well-being of organizations, communities and the world.”

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