Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Increased on Weekends Interview with;
Dr. Amirhossein Moaddab
Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, Texas What is the background for this study?

Response: Based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States maternal mortality ratio is three to four times higher than that of most other developed nations. Previous studies from the demonstrated a possible association between weekend hospital admissions and higher rates of mortality and poor health outcomes.

We investigated differences in maternal and fetal death ratios on weekends compared to weekdays and during different months of the year. In addition we investigated the presence of any medical and obstetrics complications in women who gave birth to a live child and in their offspring by day of delivery. What are the main findings?

Response: Based on our findings:
1. Maternal mortality and morbidity is increased on weekends, compared to weekdays.
2. Stillbirth and neonatal morbidity is also increased in infants delivered on weekends.
3. Both these findings occur against a background of lower intrinsic risk among weekend deliveries, suggesting an even greater disparity in care. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Our data suggest that a part of the overall dismal U.S. obstetric performance may be related to this systems issue, that is, there may be a ‘spill over’ effect that is demonstrably worse on weekends but is also present on weekdays to a lesser extent.

Our data does not allow us to go any further than this in terms of specifying what the problem is. However, we believe it is likely due to the fact that at no time is care of the pregnant inpatient the primary concern of the treating physician – it is almost always a distraction from office, surgery or personal activities. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

1. Investigate the underlying causes of poor weekend outcomes
2. Investigate provider availability on weekends
3. Investigate the weekend effect in different practice settings such as private and academic.

We have no conflicts of interest to disclose.


Abstract presented at the January 2016 Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine

Association between day and month of delivery and maternal-fetal mortality: weekend effect and july phenomenon in current obstetric practice
Amirhossein Moaddab,Christina M. Davidson,Haleh Sangi-Haghpeykar,Gary A. Dildy,Michael A. Belfort,Steven L. Clark
Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on January 25, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD