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Lancet. 1986 Mar 1;1(8479):486-8.

Maternal mortality in Jamaica.


A confidential inquiry into all maternal deaths in Jamaica during 3 years (1981 to 1983) was carried out. 192 maternal deaths were identified by a variety of means. The maternal mortality rate of 10.8 per 10 000 live births was considerably higher than the official rate of 4.8. The most common causes of death were hypertensive diseases of pregnancy (26%), haemorrhage (20%), ectopic pregnancy (10%), pulmonary embolus (8%), and sepsis (8%). Maternal mortality was closely related to both age and parity. The lowest rates were for women of para 2-4 aged 20-24 years and para 3-4 aged 25-29 years. The largest groups of avoidable factors were: non-use of and deficiencies in antenatal care; inadequacy in ensuring the delivery in hospital of women at high risk; and delays in taking action when signs of complications developed before, during, and after delivery.

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