Trends of Maternal Deaths in a Tertiary Care Hospital of Southern India in the Pre-COVID-19 Era: A 10-Year Retrospective Study

Sanghamitra Paladugu, Sujatha Bagepalli Srinivas, Anjali Suneel Mundkur

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Background: The current United Nations sustainable development goal 3 sets to reduce maternal mortality to less than 70 per 100 000 live births by 2030. To monitor whether India is on track to attaining sustainable development goals, it is essential to routinely assess trends of health indicators. Objectives: This study was conducted to assess trends of maternal mortality and cause-specific maternal death in tertiary care hospitals in Southern India. Methods: This is a retrospective study of hospital records and death summaries of all maternal deaths between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2018, at the tertiary care hospital in Southern India. The demographic, clinical, and delivery details of all the maternal deaths were collected. Causes of maternal deaths were classified as direct, indirect, and nonspecific. To observe trends of maternal death, the maternal mortality ratio was calculated for each year, and Pearson’s chi-square test was used. Results: Maternal mortality ratio was 555/100000 and had a decreasing trend from its highest in 2010 of 1230/100000 to its lowest of 229/100000 in 2017 (t = 7.71 p = 0.02). The majority of women who died were aged 21-35 years, resided in rural, were primigravidae, and had operative delivery. Most of the maternal deaths had been referred to our facility (90.8%) from other healthcare units. Obstetric hemorrhage (27.8%) and puerperal sepsis (37.7%) among direct causes; H1N1 pneumonia (34.8%) among indirect causes were the major causes of maternal death. The number of maternal deaths due to sepsis increased from the beginning until the end of the study from 10% to 50% (t = 5.9, p = 0.01). On the contrary, there was a decline in maternal deaths due to obstetric hemorrhage from 50% to 25% (t = 4.2, p = 0.03). Conclusion: Although the maternal mortality ratio has reduced over the years, sepsis was an important cause of maternal deaths.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere291222212273
JournalCurrent Women's Health Reviews
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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