Abilene Professionals Speak on Maternal Death Rates

ABILENE, TX - Texas has taken the lead in a race many don’t want to win.

The number of women who die due to pregnancy ailments has increased statewide.

Texas lawmakers are hoping to change this.

“As a doula I’ve had a client that died, you know within in a week of having a baby,” Abilene birth doula Sabrina Elliott said.

It’s a trend in Texas many want to reverse, maternal mortality.

Elliot said it needs to be talked about.

“Nobody knows about it, you know what I mean? It’s not something that’s put out there,” Elliott added.

In a special session, Texas lawmakers focused on bills that are aimed at conducting studies.

“They’re creating these committees so that they can look into those deaths and figure out what the problems are,” Elliott said.

The Texas House approved bills that will study the reason for the increasing numbers.

The Taylor County Health Department director said it’s also a problem nationwide.

“The United States, the numbers have gone from like 6.2 per 100,000 in the early 90’s to recently, it’s 21 per 100,000,” said Peter Norton.

According to USA Today, more Texas women are dying of pregnancy related conditions when compared to other states and other industrialized countries.

It’s not simple to calculate the rate city by city.

Norton said that Abilene is not big enough to calculate the rate by the 100,000 measure.

“If you have 21 per 100,000, it would take many years and many doctors would go through their whole career without having a maternal mortality,” Norton said.

Several factors may be cause for the increase.

“We are the most obese country in the world. And obesity is one of the known factors to contribute to maternal mortality,” Norton said.

The answers may lie in the research to be done.

“We won’t know what the real cause of the increase is until the studies are done,” Norton said.

© 2017 KXVA-TV


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