Researchers in Florida collected information about risk factors contributing to the likelihood of traumatic death during pregnancy from 1999 to 2005 as part of Florida’s Enhanced Maternal Mortality Reporting Database. The goal of the database was to ascertain overall risk of traumatic death based on a variety of factors. Women in the study were given a score representing risk of traumatic death. Zero represented the least risk and four representing highest risk. More than 620,000 women were included in the study.

Women who scored a 0 were less likely to suffer traumatic death during pregnancy. Women with a score of 4 were nearly 12 times as likely to suffer traumatic death. When researchers looked at risk factor ratings for the 114 women who suffered traumatic death during pregnancy, only three percent of the population scored a zero risk factor.

Researchers believe doctors can use the traumatic risk model to screen pregnant women for potential risk of traumatic death. Based on scores, women doctors can attempt to reduce risk to patient and fetus. The study was published in the journal Women’s Health Issues.

Source: Hardt NS, Eliazar J, Burt M, Das R, Winter WP, Saliba H, Roth J. Use of a prenatal risk screen to predict maternal traumatic pregnancy-associated death: program and policy implications. Womens Health Issues. 2013 May-Jun;23(3):e187-93. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2013.02.002.

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