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S Afr Med J. 1984 Feb 4;65(5):161-5.

Maternal deaths at King Edward VIII Hospital, Durban. A review of 258 consecutive cases.


From 1 January 1975 to 31 December 1982 258 maternal deaths occurred at King Edward VIII Hospital, Durban. The main causes of death were hypertensive disease of pregnancy, abortion, puerperal sepsis and haemorrhage. The importance of antenatal care as a prerequisite for a healthy pregnancy is stressed; only 16% of the patients had received any antenatal care. The unhappy statistics of death after abortion (almost entirely due to interference with pregnancy) illustrate the need for sympathetic counselling, education in family planning and greater flexibility in the abortion law. The setting up of a centrally based emergency team is proposed.

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