Nurses Severely Underestimate Risk of Maternal Morbidity, Says Study

September 5, 2017 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


​There exists a substantial knowledge gap among postpartum nurses when it comes to the risk of maternal morbidity and mortality, according to a study published August 15, 2017, in the American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. Approximately 700 women in the United States die from pregnancy- and childbirth-related causes each year, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, just 15% of the 372 nurses surveyed in the study correctly identified the maternal mortality rate and just 12% were aware that most maternal deaths occur in the days and weeks after delivery. Only 24% were able to identify the leading cause of maternal morbidity (heart-related problems).

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