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Reprod Health Matters. 2012 Jun;20(39):155-63. doi: 10.1016/S0968-8080(12)39601-8.

The role of delays in severe maternal morbidity and mortality: expanding the conceptual framework.

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1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Medical Sciences, University of Campinas, Brazil.

Abstract

Maternal mortality has gained importance in research and policy since the mid-1980s. Thaddeus and Maine recognized early on that timely and adequate treatment for obstetric complications were a major factor in reducing maternal deaths. Their work offered a new approach to examining maternal mortality, using a three-phase framework to understand the gaps in access to adequate management of obstetric emergencies: phase I--delay in deciding to seek care by the woman and/or her family; phase II--delay in reaching an adequate health care facility; and phase III--delay in receiving adequate care at that facility. Recently, efforts have been made to strengthen health systems' ability to identify complications that lead to maternal deaths more rapidly. This article shows that the combination of the "three delays" framework with the maternal "near-miss" approach, and using a range of information-gathering methods, may offer an additional means of recognizing a critical event around childbirth. This approach can be a powerful tool for policymakers and health managers to guarantee the principles of human rights within the context of maternal health care, by highlighting the weaknesses of systems and obstetric services.

PMID:
22789093
DOI:
10.1016/S0968-8080(12)39601-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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