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Health Indicator Report of Severe maternal morbidity among hospital deliveries

Every year, there are approximately 46,000 births to Utah residents. Most births do not result in complications to the mother or child, but some women suffer from "near-misses" or unexpected outcomes during labor and delivery, also called severe maternal morbidities (SMM). These outcomes include hemorrhage, eclampsia, renal failure, acute myocardial infarction, shock, and other severe complications. SMM can have mild to long-lasting effects on the physical and mental health of women experiencing it. Maternal morbidity is also emerging as an important measure in efforts to prevent maternal mortality and address [ maternal health inequities]. The rate of SMM has been increasing steadily at the [ national and state levels]. Specifically, the rate of SMM per 10,000 in-hospital deliveries increased from 71.9 in 2013 to 88.2 in 2020 nationally. Utah has experienced a similar increase with a rate of 48.8 in 2013 and 61.3 in 2020. These rates do not include transfusions. In addition to the physical and emotional toll SMM has on women and their families, the [ financial costs] associated with SMM are significant. Births involving severe maternal morbidity are much more expensive than those without SMM. The [ White House Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis] calls for supporting state innovation efforts by establishing state-focused Maternal Health Task Forces and improving state-level surveillance on maternal mortality and SMM. Surveillance of SMM in Utah will help health practitioners understand the current state of SMM in Utah, identify risk factors, and develop programs to help prevent severe maternal morbidities.

Severe maternal morbidity among hospital deliveries by age group 2020-2021


Includes transfusion codes

Data Source

Utah Inpatient Hospital Discharge Data, Office of Health Care Statistics, Utah Department of Health

Data Interpretation Issues

Severe maternal morbidity (SMM) is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as "unexpected outcomes of labor and delivery that result in significant short or long-term consequences to a woman's health." SMM is identified using a list of 16 diagnosis and 5 procedure [ ICD codes]. Blood transfusion codes are the most common procedure used to define SMM and some researchers choose to exclude these codes if there are not accompanied by other diagnosis or procedure codes. National and comparative state estimates of SMM are provided by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) and do not include transfusions. However, for historical purposes, the estimates of SMM provided in the charts use transfusion codes. Births that occur in freestanding birth centers and private homes are not included in the data. The proportion of Utah births that occur in an out-of-hospital setting was 4% in 2021 and has been increasing over the past several years.


The number of severe maternal morbidity events per 10,000 delivery hospitalizations


The number of deliveries with an identified severe maternal morbidity event from delivery hospitalizations


Total number of delivery hospitalizations

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

Compared to the U.S. as a whole, the rate of SMM in Utah has historically been lower. However, it has been increasing at both the state and national levels. Currently, Utah ranks 4th in the nation, meaning that Utah has the fourth lowest rate of SMM compared to other states.

What Is Being Done?

The Utah Department of Health and Human Services collaborates with the [ Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM)] to prevent severe maternal morbidity and mortality through the use of Patient Safety Bundles in participating facilities. Patient Safety Bundles are evidence-based toolkits meant to improve the processes of care and patient outcomes. Since becoming an AIM participating state, as many as 33 out of 46 birthing facilities in Utah have participated in at least one Safety Bundle, which accounts for approximately 70% of Utah births. Utah birthing facilities have implemented the following Safety Bundles: Obstetric Hemorrhage, Severe Hypertension, and Care for Pregnant Postpartum People with Substance Use Disorders. Utah's Perinatal Mortality Review Committee consists of clinical and public health professionals and meets monthly to review infant and maternal deaths. The Committee reviews de-identified information from death certificates, birth certificates, medical records, autopsy reports, and other resources to determine whether the deaths were preventable. An important goal of the committee is to craft recommendations to prevent future deaths. Recommendations are made at the patient, family, provider, facility, community, and system level to prevent future morbidity and mortality.

Available Services

Baby Your Baby Hotline: 1-800-826-9662[[br]] [] [[br]]A resource to answer pregnancy related questions and locate services for the public. Power Your Life website: [] [[br]]Public education promoting optimal health prior to pregnancy. Social media for Power Your Life include: [[br]]Facebook: [] [[br]]Twitter: @Poweryourlife2 [[br]]TInstagram: @Poweryourlifeut Utah Tobacco Quit Line: 1-888-567-8788 MotherToBaby Utah: [[br]]Phone - 1-800-822-2229 [[br]]Text - 1-855-999-3525 [[br]]Email - [[br]]A service to answer questions about what medications are safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Social media for MotherToBaby include: [[br]]Facebook: [] [[br]]Twitter: @MotherToBaby [[br]]Pinterest: [] Utah Women and Newborn Quality Collaborative: [] [[br]]Provider and patient education to improve maternal and neonatal outcomes. March of Dimes: [] [[br]]The mission of the March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. [[br]]Social media for March of Dimes include: [[br]]Facebook: [] [[br]]Twitter: @MarchofDimes [[br]]YouTube: [] University of Utah Health Care Parent-to-Parent Support Group: 1-801-581-2098 [[br]]Support Program for families of high risk/critically ill newborns. Share Parents of Utah: A support program for families experiencing pregnancy loss or death of an infant[[br]] 801-272-5355 [[br]][] Find providers trained in perinatal mental health based on provider type, location or insurance accepted at []. Postpartum Support International - Utah provides extensive resources for maternal mental health. [[br]]Visit their website at []. St. Mark's Hospital offers an intensive outpatient program for the treatment of perinatal mood disorders. [[br]]More information is available at []. The University of Utah SUPeRAD clinic specializes in care for pregnant women with substance addictions. [[br]]Call 801-581-8425 for more information. To find local substance use disorder and mental health treatment options, visit [].
Page Content Updated On 10/26/2023, Published on 10/26/2023
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sun, 10 December 2023 0:03:59 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Thu, 26 Oct 2023 09:33:08 MDT