Drug-related deaths are the leading cause of death to mothers during pregnancy or within one year afterwards in Florida, according to the state Pregnancy-associated Mortality Review (PAMR). Drug use deaths account for 1 in 4 of of maternal deaths during and within one year following pregnancy in the state.
PAMR released an urgent message to health care providers and hospitals, stating that they are the first health care contact for most mothers with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) and need to lead the effort to screen, assess, and refer these mothers as well as providing for their obstetrical needs.
PAMR released recommendations, including:
- Screen all pregnant women for OUD during prenatal care and at
the time of delivery using a validated verbal or written screening
- Be prepared to counsel women regarding opioid use during
pregnancy and postpartum in a non-judgmental way.
- A plan of safe care should be developed during prenatal care with
input from all involved including prenatal care providers,
community support services, and medication-assisted treatment
- Provide direct referrals for medication-assisted treatment and/or other
community support services. Connecting and supporting treatment with rehabilitation
specialists is essential to maintaining these patients in obstetrical care.
- Before discharge, ensure the mother has a safe discharge plan:
schedule postpartum mothers for early postpartum follow-up visits,
medication-assisted treatment, and other needed services.
- Coordinate with the pediatric team caring for the infant as this is
essential to ensure that both mom and baby can receive the
necessary coordinated services in the hospital and at discharge.
When possible, encourage prenatal contact/consult.