A 10 year evaluation of postpartum maternal mortality at Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital [2004 - 2013]

Moletsane, Mabereng Matsepo
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This study examined postpartum maternal deaths at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital (CHBH) between January 2004 and December 2013. The aim was to gather reliable information about the trends and rates in postpartum maternal mortality which is important for resource mobilisation, planning and improvement in progress towards Millennium Development Goal 5 i.e. a 75% reduction in the maternal mortality ratio (MMR)from 1990 to 2015. The causes and predisposing factors to maternal deaths were scrutinised to identify factors involved in the stagnation of the MMR. The medical records of all mothers who died at CHBH during 2004-2013, as contained in the individual patient files were used as data sources. There were 409 maternal deaths out of 224 562 live births of which 261 were postpartum deaths. The MMR was 182 per 100 000 live births for the 10 years evaluated. The main causes of death were indirect causes, predominantly non-pregnancy related infections, with respiratory tract infection, mostly pneumonia and tuberculosis being the predominant contributing factors. It is recommended that all maternity units conduct, review and publish MMR in order to highlight and identify factors involved in the failure to reach the Millennium Developmental Goal i.e. a 75% reduction in MMR by 2015.Factors that are involved in the stagnation need to be more completely identified.