Pregnancy-Related Deaths, United States, 2011-2015

According to a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report posted online May 10, 2019 by the CDC, approximately 700 women die annually in the United States from pregnancy-related complications. Among such deaths for which timing was known, 31.3% deaths occurred during pregnancy, 16.9% on the day of delivery, 18.6% on days 1–6 postpartum, 21.4% on days 7–42 postpartum, and 11.7% on days 43–365 postpartum. Leading causes of death varied by timing relative to the end of pregnancy. Approximately three in five pregnancy-related deaths were preventable. Contributing factors can be categorized at the community, health facility, patient, provider, and system levels. The national pregnancy-related mortality ratios (PRMRs) was 17.2 per 100,000 live births. Non-Hispanic black women and American Indian/Alaska Native women had the highest PRMRs (42.8 and 32.5, respectively), 3.3 and 2.5 times as high, respectively, as the PRMR for non-Hispanic white women (13.0).

Severe Joint Pain And Physical Inactivity Among Adults With Arthritis-United States

An estimated 54.4 million (approximately one in four) U.S. adults have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Severe joint pain and physical inactivity are common among adults with arthritis and are linked to adverse mental and physical health effects and limitations. According to an analysis of 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data, the median age-standardized state prevalence of arthritis among adults aged ≥18 years was 22.8% (range = 15.7% [District of Columbia] to 34.6% [West Virginia]) and was generally highest in Appalachia and Lower Mississippi Valley regions. Among adults with arthritis, age-standardized, state-specific prevalences of both severe joint pain (median = 30.3%; range = 20.8% [Colorado] to 45.2% [Mississippi]) and physical inactivity (median = 33.7%; range = 23.2% [Colorado] to 44.4% [Kentucky]) were highest in southeastern states. Maintaining a healthy weight or being physically active can reduce arthritis pain and prevent or delay arthritis-related disability.


Wireless Sensor System To Monitor Babies In The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

According to an April 30, 2019 report from Deloitte, approximately 300,000 premature babies are delivered each year in the US. Multiple wires and adhesive patches can damage fragile skin and prevent parents from holding and nurturing their babies. A team from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine has been working for five years to develop a wireless sensor system that uses Bluetooth technology to monitor babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The new system appears to be as precise and accurate as traditional monitors. Two lightweight wireless patches are attached to the baby's chest and foot to collect a wide range of data, including temperature, respiratory rate, EKG, oxygen saturation, and blood pressure. The patches are flexible and gentle on a newborn's skin. The wireless device allows for more physical contact between baby and parents. Researchers note that the sensor system could be sent home with a patient, so monitoring can continue beyond the hospital if necessary.

Electric Field-Based Dressing Disrupts Bacterial Biofilm Infection To Restore Healing

Bacterial biofilms are thin, slimy accretions that form on some wounds, including burns or post-surgical infections, as well as after a medical device, such as a catheter, is placed in the body. These bacteria generate their own electricity, using their own electric fields to communicate and form the biofilm, which makes them more hostile and difficult to treat. Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine have found a way to advance the fight against bacterial infections using electricity. Work has led to the development of a dressing that uses an electric field to disrupt biofilm infection. Findings were published in the April 2019 issue of the journal Annals of Surgery. As an alternative to pharmacological intervention, this effort is the first pre-clinical porcine mechanistic study to recognize the potential of electroceuticals as an effective platform technology to combat wound biofilm infection.

More Articles from TRENDS May 2019


Examples are provided of how terminological inexactitudes and differences in language can influence understanding and quality of patient care. Read More


Ken Johnson from Weber State University is featured in this issue of TRENDS. Read More


Describes a bipartisan bill in Congress to reauthorize workforce programs under Title VII of the Public Health Service Act and action in the House of Representatives to fund the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS). Read More



Discusses health challenges in rural areas, Medicare for All legislation, and predictive analytics to address social determinants of health. Read More



Describes an attempt to correct a mistake in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017; re-introduction of the Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights Act of 2019; a Trump administration proposal to reduce the Pell Grant surplus; and laws passed by states involving student loan companies. Read More



  • Advancing Patient-Centered Care For Individuals With Multiple Chronic Conditions

  • Effects Of Early Care And Education On Children’s Health

  • Addressing Social Determinants Of Health Through Housing Improvements Read More



Although progress has been made in research to measure the effectiveness of clinical interventions, similar lapses found in a study from the early 20th century can be observed in studies conducted today. Read More



Refers to how confidence remains low in the production of validated digital health solutions and how more standardized and transparent kinds of validation are needed. Read More