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Maternal death rates highest in Georgia, Augusta

Augusta leads with the highest rate in new mothers

Friday, June 21, 2013 4:21 PM
Last updated Saturday, June 22, 2013 2:43 AM
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Georgia suffers from a high infant mortality rate and is losing mothers at the highest rate, too, state officials said Friday. Moreover, rates in the Augusta area are the worst in the state, an Augusta Chronicle analysis found.

At the 5th Perinatal Health Symposium in Augus­ta, state officials said Georgia leads the nation in the maternal death rate, defined as death during pregnancy or the first year of the child’s life.

In 2011, there were 47 maternal deaths in Georgia, a rate of 35.5 per 100,000, compared with a national rate of 15.5 per 100,000 in 2008, according to data from the state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“That should not be happening here in Georgia or anywhere in this country,” said Dr. Seema Csukas, the director of the Maternal and Child Health Section for the Georgia Department of Public Health.

In the 13-county East Central Health District that includes Augusta, there were six maternal deaths and a death rate of 93.3 per 100,000 in 2011, the highest among the 18 health districts in the state, according to the Chronicle analysis.

The district’s maternal death rate was more than 2.6 times the state rate and six times the national average, the analysis found.

The state has formed a task force to look into maternal deaths in 2012 and hopes to issue a report on the causes, Csukas said.

“We’ve never done a systematic review of those deaths to see what are the common causes,” she said. “That’s what we’re hoping to gain from this maternal mortality committee, is really
understanding what’s going on so we know what to do in terms of prevention.”

It could be a number of different things, said Dr. Theresa Chapple-McGruder, the director of the office of Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology.

“We’ve seen a high rate of cardiovascular deaths,” she said. “We do have a higher rate of domestic violence-related deaths in Georgia.”

A study published by a researcher at Georgia Regents University in 2011 found that the rates of suicide and homicide in that maternal period dwarfed other causes of death for women.

As part of a strategic plan for coming years, the state hopes to help promote “preconception” health for women of childbearing age as a way to also help lower Georgia’s high infant mortality rate, Csukas said.

“A healthy woman is going to have a healthy pregnancy, is going to have a healthy delivery,” she said. “So let’s not wait until they are pregnant to address women’s health. It needs to be addressed long before that.”

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rmwhitley
5526
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rmwhitley 06/21/13 - 05:41 pm
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A woman's health,
Unpublished

excepting abortion, is of the utmost importance to the family.

jkline
527
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jkline 06/22/13 - 03:24 am
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Georgia is not alone

This link analyses some reasons for this circumstance. One quote: "Only five other industrialized countries—Albania, Latvia, Moldova, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine—fare worse on maternal death rates. A woman in the US is more than 10 times as likely as a woman in Estonia, Greece or Singapore to eventually die from a pregnancy related cause.”

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/05/09/moth-m09.html

corgimom
27776
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corgimom 06/22/13 - 06:10 am
3
1
The 23% poverty rate in

The 23% poverty rate in Augusta has a lot to do with this.

However, the city leaders are more concerned with fast-food restaurants and Broad St, rather that address the serious social issues that Augusta faces.

Riverman1
79277
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Riverman1 06/22/13 - 06:50 am
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Demographics

"It could be a number of different things, said Dr. Theresa Chapple-McGruder, the director of the office of Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology.

“We’ve seen a high rate of cardiovascular deaths,” she said. “We do have a higher rate of domestic violence-related deaths in Georgia.”

Demographic, demographics, demographics. If they are not right an area could have the best professional medical facilities in the world and the rate will still be high. On the other hand, a remote area with wealthy, educated people will have a low maternal death rate.

justthefacts
20365
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justthefacts 06/22/13 - 07:51 am
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Wonder

I wonder if the analysis will contain a stat on married vs unmarried.

soapy_725
43553
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soapy_725 06/22/13 - 08:28 am
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Not for lack of hospitals and MD's in Augusta.
Unpublished

WE have more medical treatment facilities that our peer metro areas.

soapy_725
43553
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soapy_725 06/22/13 - 08:29 am
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Again, a study that supports more government involvement.
Unpublished

More government grants. More government jobs.

allhans
23240
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allhans 06/22/13 - 08:34 am
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And what about those who die

And what about those who die during pregnancy.

RMSHEFF
13908
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RMSHEFF 06/22/13 - 01:17 pm
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There are many factors

There are many factors involved and you can use statistics to say almost anything you want them to say.

RMSHEFF
13908
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RMSHEFF 06/22/13 - 01:18 pm
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Justhefacts

You are on to something. Intact stable family units fair much better in every category of life. Broken homes and single parenthood are the breading ground for most of our social ills.

oldandwise
10
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oldandwise 06/22/13 - 09:11 am
1
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Maternal deaths

I would be curious to know how many of these mothers were drug addicts who got pregnant prostituting for drugs and didn't see a physician during their pregnancy. Is another contributing factor multiple children in just a few years? There is so much education that needs to be done regarding this and unfortunately the women that need it the most will never get it.

gargoyle
13396
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gargoyle 06/22/13 - 01:02 pm
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corgimom " However, the

corgimom " However, the city leaders are more concerned with fast-food restaurants and Broad St, rather that address the serious social issues that Augusta faces.". That laser logic is the reality we face as citizens of Richmond county. Too much has been siphoned off for make the Cabal comfortable first projects. The consultants for capital projects get richer, the downtown property owners get their say and Richmond County residents are left to fend for themselves. We need a Mayor and a City Administrator with out so many needy friends before the social issues here in Augusta can be addressed.

corgimom
27776
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corgimom 06/22/13 - 01:41 pm
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Oldandwise, not that many. It

Oldandwise, not that many. It has more to do with the astronomical number of teen parents and out-of-wedlock births. It also has to do with MSG, that's where all the high-risk pregnant women go to give birth, from miles around.

Gage Creed
15669
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Gage Creed 06/22/13 - 03:19 pm
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Studies...

I wonder if there are any studies of the infant mortality rates for abortions?

corgimom
27776
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corgimom 06/22/13 - 04:16 pm
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I'd say the mortality rate is

I'd say the mortality rate is close to zero, since an infant is the offspring of a human, and an embryo or a fetus is not an infant.

Gage Creed
15669
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Gage Creed 06/22/13 - 10:56 pm
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Do the names Kermit Gosnell

Do the names Kermit Gosnell or Douglas Karpen mean anything to you?

Gage Creed
15669
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Gage Creed 06/22/13 - 11:03 pm
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"I'd say the mortality rate

"I'd say the mortality rate is close to zero, since an infant is the offspring of a human, and an embryo or a fetus is not an infant."

This statement is opinion and conjecture... not fact.

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