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(Denison, IA) – A recent investigative report in USA Today newspaper highlighted the safety issues surrounding childbirth in the United States. According to their research, the newspaper reported, “The vast majority of women in America give birth without incident. But each year, more than 50,000 are severely injured. About 700 mothers die.” USA Today also wrote, “The best estimates say that half of these deaths could be prevented and half the injuries reduced or eliminated with better care.”

“Our doctors and nurses recognize the dangers of childbirth”, said Erin Muck, Chief Nursing Officer at Crawford County Memorial Hospital (CCMH). “Even before the USA Today survey was released, we’ve taken steps to address maternal health issues highlighted in its report, and we have implemented safety procedures to protect the health and well-being of new moms.”

Muck is describing the Safe Motherhood Initiative (SMI) from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The Safe Motherhood Initiative officially kicked off in May 2013. It is designed to develop and implement standard approaches for handling obstetric emergencies associated with maternal health. The SMI focuses on three leading causes of maternal death – hemorrhage or severe bleeding, blood clots and severe high blood pressure.

Statistics show Crawford County Memorial Hospital averages 150 live births each year. According to Muck, CCMH has implemented a series of procedures for every new mother beginning with a risk assessment.

“Along with the risk assessment, we provide active management of all three stages of labor. When necessary, CCMH medical providers are available to implement emergency blood transfusions. In specific cases, we can utilize bedside post-partum hemorrhage kits with emergency supplies including medications”, Muck explained.

“We are constantly working to ensure a safe and positive birthing experience for all of our new parents”, Muck said. “Our investment in state-of-the-art birthing technology, on-going training and education of our staff, and partnering when necessary with other facilities on high risk births, gives us confidence we can provide a safe healthcare environment for new moms and their babies.”