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Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology$
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Germaine M. Buck Louis and Robert W. Platt

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195387902

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195387902.001.0001

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Maternal Mortality and Severe Maternal Morbidity

Maternal Mortality and Severe Maternal Morbidity

(p.204) 11 Maternal Mortality and Severe Maternal Morbidity
Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology

K.S. Joseph

Oxford University Press

Maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity have received increasing attention in both industrialized and less industrialized countries in recent years. The definition of maternal death and its subtypes (direct, indirect, pregnancy-related and late) and the definitions and components of severe maternal morbidity (disease-based, intervention-based and organ dysfunction-based) are discussed in this chapter. Historical trends and international comparisons of maternal mortality are also presented along with the challenges in identifying and collecting information on maternal mortality and serious morbidity. Other issues highlighted in the chapter include the Millennium Development Goals, non-life threatening morbidity, and 3 specific causes of severe maternal morbidity, namely, postpartum hemorrhage, amniotic fluid embolism and urinary incontinence. Methodologic issues related to the study of maternal mortality (e.g., study size and design issues, confounding by indication and mortality among pregnant versus non-pregnant women) and severe maternal morbidity (e.g., heterogeneity of a composite morbidity outcome) are also explored.

Keywords:   maternal mortality, severe maternal morbidity, causes of death, postpartum hemorrhage, epidemiology

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