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

Maternal mortality in Jamaica.

Abstract

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.

PIP:

This article reports the results of a review of all maternal deaths occurring in Jamaica in 1981-83. A total of 192 maternal deaths were identified, yielding a maternal mortality rate of 10.8/10,000 live births, which was considerably higher than the official rate of 4.8. 15% of these deaths were associated with abortion or ectopic pregnancy. The most common causes of death were hypertensive diseases of pregnancy (26%), hemorrhage (20%), ectopic pregnancy (10%), pulmonary embolus (8%), and sepsis (8%). Maternal mortality was closely related to both age and parity. Lowest rates were noted among women of para 2-4 aged 20-24 years and para 3-4 aged 25-29 years. Avoidable factors were judged to be present in 68% of the deaths. The largest categories of avoidable factors were: nonuse of and deficiencies in antenatal care; inadequacy in ensuring the delivery in hospital of high-risk women; and delays in taking action when signs of complications developed before, during, and after delivery. In response to these findings, the Ministry of Health's Maternal Mortality Committee has called for the following actions: measures to encourage women to seek antenatal care early in pregnancy; improvements in antenatal monitoring; the referral of high-risk women for hospital delivery; the definition of standard procedures for dealing with specific complications of pregnancy, e.g., eclampsia and hemorrhage; regionalization of obstetric services and criteria for referring patients to hospital; and review of provision of blood and plasma for emergency transfusions.

PMID:
2869218
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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