Editorial  |   March 2017
Obstetric Anesthesiology and Me
Author Affiliations
  • N. Martin Giesecke, M.D.
Article Information
Obstetric Anesthesia / Editorial
Editorial   |   March 2017
Obstetric Anesthesiology and Me
ASA Monitor 03 2017, Vol.81, 4-5.
ASA Monitor 03 2017, Vol.81, 4-5.
Bragging isn’t a typical facet of my character, but there is an old adage that “Everything is bigger in Texas!” Unfortunately, that includes the maternal mortality rate, which has doubled in Texas between 2010 and 2015. In 2010, there were 18.6 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in Texas. That spiked to more than 30 per 100,000 in 2011,and it remained above 30 per 100,000 in 2014. And even though the overall maternal mortality rate in the U.S. rose during the same time period (from 18.8 per 100,000 in 2000 to 23.8 per 100,000 in 2014), the numbers from Texas helped rank the U.S. as having the worst maternal mortality rate of all developed countries. Many pundits were quick to blame the Texas legislature for passing a law that severely restricted access to women’s health clinics (i.e., prenatal care and abortions). But that change did not happen until the 2013 legislative session, well after this spike in maternal deaths began. In fact, the issue of maternal deaths was so worrisome that the legislature arranged for the state’s Department of Health and Human Services to create the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force. Their report was issued in July 2016.1 
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