FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 10, 2018
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GUILLEN: STATE MATERNAL MORBIDITY RATE LOWER THAN INITIALLY THOUGHT
Health Officials Find That Unusually High Statistics Are Inflated
AUSTIN - A recent study from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), has confirmed that the initially reported maternal death rate was inflated due to difficulties in recording maternal deaths. Representative Ryan Guillen (D- Rural South Texas) is relived to hear the numbers aren’t as high as initially suspected, but looks to make them even lower.
"The maternal morbidity rate in Texas is something we need to better understand and, ultimately, decrease," said Guillen. "We can do this by as improving our methods of tracking maternal health and improving access to information and better healthcare as well."
DSHS published a study that found the reported number of 147 maternal deaths was inaccurate by over half, as the actual number of maternal mortalities was 56. The new number was derived using multiple sources of data, rather than just death certificates. This new method of reviewing statistics has revealed the spike in the maternal morbidity rate in Texas is not as drastic as Texans feared. Representative Guillen is thankful that the new numbers are lower than expected, but is determined to make this number lower in the future.
Guillen has been an advocate for increasing health funding and improving the everyday lives of Texans, especially mothers. Last year, he was a sponsor of legislation that created the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity task force which works to protect Texas mothers by exploring postpartum health problems and coming up with solutions. The task force is charged with reviewing trends, rates, or disparities in pregnancy-related deaths and severe maternal morbidity, and studying solutions such as screening for substance abuse and domestic violence and the promotion of scientific educational materials. Rep. Guillen is looking for more ways to continue to decrease the maternal morbidity rate and improve maternal healthcare in general.
"Improving healthcare for Texas mothers is imperative, so we must continue to work towards that end in the next legislative session," said Guillen.
Serving ten rural South Texas counties in the Texas House of Representatives, Ryan Guillen is known for his hard work, fierce independence, and relentless efforts for South Texas families. Recently, Capitol Inside called him a “House Bill Machine,” and a “one-person assembly line for legislation.” Since elected, few other legislators have passed more bills than Guillen. Sign up for updates at ryanguillen.com, facebook.com/representative.guillen, and twitter.com/ryanguillen