Legislation sponsored by Senator Declan O’Scanlon targeting New Jersey’s troubling rate of death in new mothers was approved by the Senate today.
Legislation sponsored by Sen. Declan O’Scanlon targeting New Jersey’s troubling rate of death in new mothers was approved by the Senate. (Flickr)
O’Scanlon’s bill, A-1073/S-3432, would require hospitals and birthing centers to screen pregnant women and those who have given birth for preeclampsia, a complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of liver and kidney damage.
“Pregnancy-related deaths in New Jersey have reached an alarming level,” said O’Scanlon. “The state is one of the worst in the nation with a rate close to double the national average. Black women are seven times more likely to die from pregnancy complications than white women, and preeclampsia is a leading cause.”
Preeclampsia usually manifests after 20 weeks of pregnancy, often effecting women who previously had no blood pressure issues. The condition, along with other hypertensive disorders, is one of the most common pregnancy complications and is linked to maternal morbidity and mortality.
“An increased emphasis on screening can help with earlier treatment and save lives,” said O’Scanlon. “For every 100,000 live births in New Jersey, 37 women are lost, well above the national average of only 20. This medical crisis must be addressed, and this bill is a step in the right direction.”