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Maternal Deaths Drastically Lower Than Previously Thought

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 AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas health officials say a revised method for counting maternal deaths found that the 2012 number was drastically lower than previously reported - 56 instead of 147.     

The Texas Department of State Health Services said Monday that the findings by its researchers were published in Obstetrics & Gynecology.     

The revision came after a 2016 study in the same journal reported a dramatic number of maternal deaths in Texas from 2010 to 2012.     

DSHS says the misclassifications likely occurred because a wrong option was selected in an electronic system. Usage of that system increased by more than 40 percent between 2010 and 2012.     

The enhanced method, which the agency will use to look at other years, includes matching deaths to birth and fetal death records and reviewing medical and autopsy records.

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