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World Health Stat Q. 1990;43(4):246-8.

Implications of the ICD-10 definitions related to death in pregnancy, childbirth or the puerperium.

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Family Research International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.


The Tenth Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) will include two new definitions concerning death related to pregnancy: --Late maternal death--the death of a woman from direct or indirect obstetric causes more than 42 days but less than one year after termination of pregnancy. --Pregnancy-related death--the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the cause of death. This article discusses the rationale underlying these definitions and their implications for public health statistics. The introduction of these definitions is a step, albeit a timid one, towards an increased acceptance of epidemiology in determining the relationships which affect death related to pregnancy. It is to be hoped that the trend thus initiated can be encouraged.

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