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Maternal Mortality Crisis: The Struggle to Save Lives

  • 1.  Maternal Mortality Crisis: The Struggle to Save Lives

    Posted 11-10-2023 08:51

    The maternal mortality crisis in the United States is a dire issue that requires urgent attention. In this blog, we explore the eye-opening and emotionally charged documentary that delves into the heart-wrenching reality faced by healthcare providers and mothers in Georgia. This documentary highlights the challenges of maternal care, the alarming rates of maternal mortality, and the critical need for systemic change.

    A State in Crisis

    Georgia holds the unfortunate distinction of ranking number one in the country for maternal deaths. The gravity of this situation is starkly evident in the lives of pregnant mothers seeking medical care. The documentary introduces us to healthcare providers who work relentlessly to combat this crisis.

    A Day in the Life

    We follow the story of Dr. Donna Adams-Pickett, an obstetrician-gynecologist practicing in Augusta, Georgia. Her day-to-day schedule involves caring for a significant number of patients, often exceeding the norm due to the overwhelming demand for maternal care. She emphasizes the life-and-death consequences of limited access to obstetrical care, especially in remote areas. The consequences are even more severe in a state like Georgia, with approximately 93 counties lacking hospitals equipped for obstetrical care.

    The Human Toll

    To underscore the urgency of the situation, we meet Alquita, a patient who had to endure long drives for prenatal care and was nearly a statistic due to subpar care. Her story serves as a poignant reminder of how healthcare disparities affect women's lives, particularly women of color. Alquita's near-death experience during a routine C-section draws attention to the risks that persist in maternal healthcare.

    Implicit Bias and Maternal Mortality

    Implicit bias is a pervasive issue within healthcare systems that disproportionately affects women of color. Dr. Adams-Pickett highlights the shocking statistics that reveal African-American women are three to four times more likely to die in childbirth. The documentary underlines the imperative need to address implicit bias in maternal care to reduce maternal mortality rates.

    A Glimpse into OB-GYN's Dedication

    The documentary provides an intimate look at the dedication of obstetricians like Dr. Adams-Pickett and Dr. Jeffrey Harris, who continue to serve in the face of dwindling resources. Despite facing high percentages of Medicaid patients and personal sacrifices, they remain committed to their communities.

    Discussion Questions for High School Medical Students

    1. What are the key factors contributing to the maternal mortality crisis in Georgia and the United States? How does limited access to obstetrical care impact maternal health?
    2. How does implicit bias in healthcare affect maternal outcomes for women of color, as highlighted in the documentary? What steps can be taken to address implicit bias and reduce healthcare disparities?
    3. What role can healthcare providers play in improving maternal care and reducing maternal mortality? How do doctors like Dr. Donna Adams-Pickett make a significant difference in underserved communities?
    4. Why is the maternal mortality crisis particularly alarming for African-American women, and how can the medical community and society at large work together to change this alarming statistic?

    Diamond Andress