Failure to rescue, communication, and safety culture

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Failure to rescue refers to the inability to prevent death from health care complications. The fact that more than half of severe maternal morbidity and maternal deaths are classified as preventable, and black women have 2 to 3 times the risk for adjusted severe morbidity and maternal mortality suggest there is a problem with failure to rescue in US maternity care. This article reviews national efforts to improve rescue capacity in maternity care and data on communication breakdowns and disrespect in maternity care, and outlines individual and organizational actions that can be taken to improve communication and rescue processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-517
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • communication
  • maternity care
  • safety culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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