Maternal near misses are increasingly used to study quality of obstetric care. Inclusion criteria for the identification of near misses are diverse and studies not comparable. WHO developed universal near miss inclusion criteria in 2009 and these criteria have been validated in Brazil and Canada.
To validate and refine the WHO near miss criteria in a low-resource setting.
A prospective cross-sectional study was performed in a rural referral hospital in Tanzania. From November 2009 until November 2011, all cases of maternal death (MD) and maternal near miss (MNM) were included. For identification of MNM, a local modification of the WHO near miss criteria was used, because most laboratory-based and some management-based criteria could not be applied in this setting. Disease-based criteria were added as they reflect severe maternal morbidity. In the absence of a gold standard for identification of MNM, the clinical WHO criteria were validated for identification of MD.
32 MD and 216 MNM were identified using the locally adapted near miss criteria; case fatality rate (CFR) was 12.9%. WHO near miss criteria identified only 60 MNM (CFR 35.6%). All clinical criteria, 25% of the laboratory-based criteria and 50% of the management-based criteria could be applied. The threshold of five units of blood for identification of MNM led to underreporting of MNM. Clinical criteria showed specificity of 99.5% (95%CI: 99.4%–99.7%) and sensitivity of 100% (95%CI: 91.1%–100%). Some inclusion criteria did not contribute to the identification of cases and therefore may be eligible for removal.
The applicability of the WHO near miss criteria depends on the local context, e.g. level of health care. The clinical criteria showed good validity. Lowering the threshold for blood transfusion from five to two units in settings without blood bank and addition of disease-based criteria in low-resource settings is recommended.
To determine the frequency of near-miss (severe acute maternal morbidity) and the nature of near-miss events, and comparatively analysed near-miss morbidities and maternal deaths among pregnant women managed over a 3-year period in a Nigerian tertiary centre.
Retrospective facility-based review of cases of near-miss and maternal death which occurred between 1 January 2002 and 31 December 2004. Near-miss case definition was based on validated disease-specific criteria, comprising of five diagnostic categories: haemorrhage, hypertensive disorders in pregnancy, dystocia, infection and anaemia. The near-miss morbidities were compared with maternal deaths with respect to demographic features and disease profiles. Mortality indices were determined for various disease processes to appreciate the standard of care provided for life-threatening obstetric conditions. The maternal death to near-miss ratios for the three years were compared to assess the trend in the quality of obstetric care.
There were 1501 deliveries, 211 near-miss cases and 44 maternal deaths. The total near-miss events were 242 with a decreasing trend from 2002 to 2004. Demographic features of cases of near-miss and maternal death were comparable. Besides infectious morbidity, the categories of complications responsible for near-misses and maternal deaths followed the same order of decreasing frequency. Hypertensive disorders in pregnancy and haemorrhage were responsible for 61.1% of near-miss cases and 50.0% of maternal deaths. More women died after developing severe morbidity due to uterine rupture and infection, with mortality indices of 37.5% and 28.6%, respectively. Early pregnancy complications and antepartum haemorrhage had the lowest mortality indices. Majority of the cases of near-miss (82.5%) and maternal death (88.6%) were unbooked for antenatal care and delivery in this hospital. Maternal mortality ratio for the period was 2931.4 per 100,000 deliveries. The overall maternal death to near-miss ratio was 1: 4.8 and this remained relatively constant over the 3-year period.
The quality of care received by critically ill obstetric patients in this centre is suboptimal with no evident changes between 2002 and 2004. Reduction of the present maternal mortality ratio may best be achieved by developing evidence-based protocols and improving the resources for managing severe morbidities due to hypertension and haemorrhage especially in critically ill unbooked patients. Tertiary care hospitals in Nigeria could also benefit from evaluation of their standard of obstetric care by including near-miss investigations in their maternal death enquiries.
Objectives. (1) To determine the frequency of maternal near miss, maternal near miss incidence ratio (MNMR), maternal near miss to mortality ratio and mortality index. (2) To compare the nature of near miss events with that of maternal mortality. (3) To see the trend of near miss events. Design. Audit. Setting. Kasturba Hospital, Manipal University, Manipal, India. Population. Near miss cases & maternal deaths. Methods. Cases were defined based on WHO criteria 2009. Main Outcome Measures. Severe acute maternal morbidity and maternal deaths. Results. There were 7390 deliveries and 131 “near miss” cases during the study period. The Maternal near miss incidence ratio was 17.8/1000 live births, maternal near miss to mortality ratio was 5.6 : 1, and mortality index was 14.9%. A total of 126 cases were referred, while 5 cases were booked at our hospital. Hemorrhage was the leading cause (44.2%), followed by hypertensive disorders (23.6%) and sepsis (16.3%). Maternal mortality ratio (MMR) was 313/100000 live births. Conclusion. Hemorrhage and hypertensive disorders are the leading causes of near miss events. New-onset viral infections have emerged as the leading cause of maternal mortality. As near miss analysis indicates the quality of health care, it is worth presenting in national indices.
Investigating severe maternal morbidity (near-miss) is a newly recognised tool that identifies women at highest risk of maternal death and helps allocate resources especially in low income countries. This study aims to i. document the frequency and nature of maternal near-miss at hospital level in Damascus, Capital of Syria, ii. evaluate the level of care at maternal life-saving emergency services by comparatively analysing near-misses and maternal mortalities.
Retrospective facility-based review of cases of near-miss and maternal mortality that took place in the years 2006-2007 at Damascus Maternity University Hospital, Syria. Near-miss cases were defined based on disease-specific criteria (Filippi 2005) including: haemorrhage, hypertensive disorders in pregnancy, dystocia, infection and anaemia. Main outcomes included maternal mortality ratio (MMR), maternal near miss ratio (MNMR), mortality indices and proportion of near-miss cases and mortality cases to hospital admissions.
There were 28 025 deliveries, 15 maternal deaths and 901 near-miss cases. The study showed a MNMR of 32.9/1000 live births, a MMR of 54.8/100 000 live births and a relatively low mortality index of 1.7%. Hypertensive disorders (52%) and haemorrhage (34%) were the top causes of near-misses. Late pregnancy haemorrhage was the leading cause of maternal mortality (60%) while sepsis had the highest mortality index (7.4%). Most cases (93%) were referred in critical conditions from other facilities; namely traditional birth attendants homes (67%), primary (5%) and secondary (10%) healthcare unites and private practices (11%). 26% of near-miss cases were admitted to Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Near-miss analyses provide valuable information on obstetric care. The study highlights the need to improve antenatal care which would help early identification of high risk pregnancies. It also emphasises the importance of both: developing protocols to prevent/manage post-partum haemorrhage and training health care professionals to manage infrequent but fatal conditions like sepsis. An urgent review of the referral system and the emergency obstetric care in Syria is highly recommended.
To validate the WHO maternal near-miss criteria and develop a benchmark tool for severe maternal morbidity assessments.
In a multicenter cross-sectional study implemented in 27 referral maternity hospitals in Brazil, a one-year prospective surveillance on severe maternal morbidity and data collection was carried out. Diagnostic accuracy tests were used to assess the validity of the WHO maternal near-miss criteria. Binary logistic regression was used to model the death probability among women with severe maternal complications and benchmark the management of severe maternal morbidity.
Of the 82,388 women having deliveries in the participating health facilities, 9,555 women presented pregnancy-related complications, including 140 maternal deaths and 770 maternal near misses. The WHO maternal near-miss criteria were found to be accurate and highly associated with maternal deaths (Positive likelihood ratio 106.8 (95% CI 99.56–114.6)). The maternal severity index (MSI) model was developed and found to able to describe the relationship between life-threatening conditions and mortality (Area under the ROC curve: 0.951 (95% CI 0.909–0.993)).
The identification of maternal near-miss cases using the WHO list of pregnancy-related life-threatening conditions was validated. The MSI model can be used as a tool for benchmarking the performance of health services managing women with severe maternal complications and provide case-mix adjustment.
Analysis of severe maternal morbidity (maternal near misses) provides information on the quality of care. We assessed the prevalence/incidence of maternal near miss, maternal mortality and case fatality ratio through systematic review of studies on severe maternal morbidity in sub-Saharan Africa.
We examined studies that reported prevalence/incidence of severe maternal morbidity (maternal near misses) during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum period between 1996 and 2010. We evaluated the quality of studies (objectives, study design, population studied, setting and context, definition of severe acute obstetric morbidity and data collection instruments). We extracted data, using a pre-defined protocol and criteria, and estimated the prevalence or incidence of maternal near miss. The case-fatality ratios for reported maternal complications were estimated.
We identified 12 studies: six were cross-sectional, five were prospective and one was a retrospective review of medical records. There was variation in the setting: while some studies were health facility-based (at the national referral hospital, regional hospital or various district hospitals), others were community-based studies. The sample size varied from 557 women to 23,026. Different definitions and terminologies for maternal near miss included acute obstetric complications, severe life threatening obstetric complications and severe obstetric complications. The incidence/prevalence ratio and case-fatality ratio for maternal near misses ranged from 1.1%-10.1% and 3.1%-37.4% respectively. Ruptured uterus, sepsis, obstructed labor and hemorrhage were the commonest morbidities that were analyzed. The incidence/prevalence ratio of hemorrhage ranged from 0.06% to 3.05%, while the case fatality ratio for hemorrhage ranged from 2.8% to 27.3%. The prevalence/incidence ratio for sepsis ranged from 0.03% to 0.7%, while the case fatality ratio ranged from 0.0% to 72.7%.
The incidence/prevalence ratio and case fatality ratio of maternal near misses are very high in studies from sub-Saharan Africa. Large differences exist between countries on the prevalence/incidence of maternal near misses. This could be due to different contexts/settings, variation in the criteria used to define the maternal near misses morbidity, or rigor used carrying out the study. Future research on maternal near misses should adopt the WHO recommendation on classification of maternal morbidity and mortality.
To evaluate the performance of the WHO criteria for defining maternal near miss and identifying deaths among cases of severe maternal morbidity (SMM) admitted for intensive care.
Between October 2002 and September 2007, 673 women with SMM were admitted, and among them 18 died. Variables used for the definition of maternal near miss according to WHO criteria and for the SOFA score were retrospectively evaluated. The identification of at least one of the WHO criteria in women who did not die defined the case as a near miss. Organ failure was evaluated through the maximum SOFA score above 2 for each one of the six components of the score, being considered the gold standard for the diagnosis of maternal near miss. The aggregated score (Total Maximum SOFA score) was calculated using the worst result of the maximum SOFA score. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of these WHO criteria for predicting maternal death and also for identifying cases of organ failure were estimated.
The WHO criteria identified 194 cases of maternal near miss and all the 18 deaths. The most prevalent criteria among cases of maternal deaths were the use of vasoactive drug and the use of mechanical ventilation (≥1 h). For the prediction of maternal deaths, sensitivity was 100% and specificity 70.4%. These criteria identified 119 of the 120 cases of organ failure by the maximum SOFA score (Sensitivity 99.2%) among 194 case of maternal near miss (61.34%). There was disagreement in 76 cases, one organ failure without any WHO criteria and 75 cases with no failure but with WHO criteria. The Total Maximum SOFA score had a good performance (area under the curve of 0.897) for prediction of cases of maternal near miss according to the WHO criteria.
The WHO criteria for maternal near miss showed to be able to identify all cases of death and almost all cases of organ failure. Therefore they allow evaluation of the severity of the complication and consequently enable clinicians to build a plan of care or to provide an early transfer for appropriate reference centers.
Maternal morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa remains high despite global efforts to reduce it. In order to lower maternal morbidity and mortality in the immediate term, reduction of delay in the provision of quality obstetric care is of prime importance. The aim of this study is to assess the occurrence of severe maternal morbidity and mortality in a rural referral hospital in Tanzania as proposed by the WHO near miss approach and to assess implementation levels of key evidence-based interventions in women experiencing severe maternal morbidity and mortality.
A prospective cross-sectional study was performed from November 2009 until November 2011 in a rural referral hospital in Tanzania. All maternal near misses and maternal deaths were included. As not all WHO near miss criteria were applicable, a modification was used to identify cases. Data were collected from medical records using a structured data abstraction form. Descriptive frequencies were calculated for demographic and clinical variables, outcome indicators, underlying causes, and process indicators.
In the two-year period there were 216 maternal near misses and 32 maternal deaths. The hospital-based maternal mortality ratio was 350 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births (95% CI 243–488). The maternal near miss incidence ratio was 23.6 per 1,000 live births, with an overall case fatality rate of 12.9%. Oxytocin for prevention of postpartum haemorrhage was used in 96 of 201 women and oxytocin for treatment of postpartum haemorrhage was used in 38 of 66 women. Furthermore, eclampsia was treated with magnesium sulphate in 87% of all cases. Seventy-four women underwent caesarean section, of which 25 women did not receive prophylactic antibiotics. Twenty-eight of 30 women who were admitted with sepsis received parenteral antibiotics. The majority of the cases with uterine rupture (62%) occurred in the hospital.
Maternal morbidity and mortality remain challenging problems in a rural referral hospital in Tanzania. Key evidence-based interventions are not implemented in women with severe maternal morbidity and mortality. Progress can be made through up scaling the use of evidence-based interventions, such as the use of oxytocin for prevention and treatment of postpartum haemorrhage.
Maternal near miss; Severe acute maternal morbidity; Maternal mortality; Quality of obstetric care; WHO near miss approach; WHO near miss criteria
Maternal mortality ratio in Nigeria is one of the highest in the world. Near misses occur in larger numbers than maternal deaths hence they allow for a more comprehensive analysis of risk factors and determinants as well as outcomes of life-threatening complications in pregnancy. The study determined the incidence, characteristics, determinants and perinatal outcomes of near misses in a tertiary hospital in South-west Nigeria.
A prospective case control study was conducted at the maternity units of the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife Nigeria between July 2006 and July 2007. Near miss cases were defined based on validated disease-specific criteria which included severe haemorrhage, hypertensive disorders in pregnancy, prolonged obstructed labour, infection and severe anemia. Four unmatched controls of pregnant women were selected for every near miss case. Three categories of risk factors (background, proximate, clinical) which derived from a conceptual framework were examined. The perinatal outcomes were also assessed. Bi-variate logistic regressions were used for multivariate analysis of determinants and perinatal outcomes of near miss.
The incidence of near miss was 12%. Severe haemorrhage (41.3%), hypertensive disorders in pregnancy (37.3%), prolonged obstructed labour (23%), septicaemia (18.6%) and severe anaemia (14.6%) were the direct causes of near miss. The significant risk factors with their odds ratio and 95% confidence intervals were: chronic hypertension [OR=6.85; 95% CI: (1.96 – 23.93)] having experienced a phase one delay [OR=2.07; 95% CI (1.03 – 4.17)], Emergency caesarian section [OR=3.72; 95% CI: (0.93 – 14.9)], assisted vaginal delivery [OR=2.55; 95% CI: (1.34 – 4.83)]. The protective factors included antenatal care attendance at tertiary facility [OR=0.19; 95% CI: (0.09 – 0.37)], knowledge of pregnancy complications [OR=0.47; 95% CI (0.24 – 0.94)]. Stillbirth [OR=5.4; 95% CI (2.17 – 13.4)] was the most significant adverse perinatal outcomes associated with near miss event.
The analysis of near misses has evolved as a useful tool in the investigation of maternal health especially in life-threatening situations. The significant risk factors identified in this study are amenable to appropriate public health and medical interventions. Adverse perinatal outcomes are clearly attributable to near miss events. Therefore the findings should contribute to Nigeria’s effort to achieving MDG 4 and 5.
Near miss maternal morbidity; Maternal health; Pregnancy complications; Perinatal outcomes; Nigeria
Investigation of maternal near-miss is a useful complement to the investigation of maternal mortality with the aim of meeting the United Nations' fifth Millennium Development Goal. The present study was conducted to investigate the frequency of near-miss events, to calculate the mortality index for each event and to compare the socio-demographic and obstetrical data (age, parity, gestational age, education and antenatal care) of the near-miss cases with maternal deaths.
Near-miss cases and events (hemorrhage, infection, hypertensive disorders, anemia and dystocia), maternal deaths and their causes were retrospectively reviewed and the mortality index for each event was calculated in Kassala Hospital, eastern Sudan over a 2-year period, from January 2008 to December 2010. Disease-specific criteria were applied for these events.
There were 9578 deliveries, 205 near-miss cases, 228 near-miss events and 40 maternal deaths. Maternal near-miss and maternal mortality ratio were 22.1/1000 live births and 432/100 000 live births, respectively. Hemorrhage accounted for the most common event (40.8%), followed by infection (21.5%), hypertensive disorders (18.0%), anemia (11.8%) and dystocia (7.9%). The mortality index were 22.2%, 10.0%, 10.0%, 8.8% and 2.4% for infection, dystocia, anemia, hemorrhage and hypertensive disorders, respectively.
There is a high frequency of maternal morbidity and mortality at the level of this facility. Therefore maternal health policy needs to be concerned not only with averting the loss of life, but also with preventing or ameliorating maternal-near miss events (hemorrhage, infections, hypertension and anemia) at all care levels including primary level.
Falling numbers of maternal deaths have stimulated an interest in investigating cases of life threatening obstetric morbidity or near miss. The purpose of this study was to document the frequency and causes of near miss and maternal deaths in four hospitals in West Java, Indonesia.
Cross sectional study in four hospitals in two districts in Banten province, Indonesia. We reviewed registers and case notes to identify the numbers and causes of near miss and death between November 2003 and October 2004. Near miss cases were defined based on organ dysfunction, clinical and management criteria. Near miss were categorized by whether or not the woman was at a critical state at admission by reviewing the final signs at admission.
The prevalence of near miss was much greater in public than in private hospitals (17.3% versus 4.2%, p = 0.000). Hemorrhage and hypertensive diseases were the most common diagnoses associated with near miss, and vascular dysfunction was the most common criterion of organ dysfunction. The occurrence of maternal deaths was 1.6%, with non-obstetric complications as the leading cause. The majority (70.7%) of near miss in public hospitals were in a critical state at admission but this proportion was much lower in private hospitals (31.9%).
This is the first study to document near miss in public and private hospitals in Indonesia. Close to a fifth of admissions in public hospitals were associated with near miss; and the critical state in which the women arrived suggest important delays in reaching the hospitals. Even though the private sector takes an increasingly larger share of facility-based births in Indonesia, managing obstetric emergencies remains the domain of the public sector.
Women who survive severe obstetric complications can provide insight into risk factors and potential strategies for prevention of maternal morbidity as well as maternal mortality. We interviewed 32 women, in an urban facility in Ghana, who had experienced severe morbidity defined using a standardized WHO near-miss definition and identification criteria. Women provided personal accounts of their experiences of severe maternal morbidity and perceptions of the care they received.
Methods and Findings
The study took place in a referral facility in urban Accra, and semi-structured interviews were conducted with women who had either a maternal near miss (n = 17) or a potentially life-threatening complication (n = 15). The most common themes surrounding the traumatic delivery were the fear of dying and concern over the potential (or actual) loss of the baby. For many women, the loss of a baby negatively influenced how they viewed and coped with this experience. Women’s perceptions of the quality of the care highlighted several key factors such as the importance of information, good communication and attitudes, and availability of human (i.e., more doctors) and physical resources (i.e., more beds, water) at the facility.
Our results suggest that experiences of women with severe maternal morbidity may inform different aspects of quality improvement in the facilities, which in turn have a positive impact on future health seeking behavior, service utilization and reduction in maternal morbidity and mortality.
The World Health Organization has recommended investigating near-misses as a benchmark practice for monitoring maternal healthcare and has standardized the criteria for diagnosis. We aimed to study maternal morbidity and mortality among women admitted to a general intensive care unit during pregnancy or in the postpartum period, using the new World Health Organization criteria.
In a cross-sectional study, 158 cases of severe maternal morbidity were classified according to their outcomes: death, maternal near-miss, and potentially life-threatening conditions. The health indicators for obstetrical care were calculated. A bivariate analysis was performed using the Chi-square test with Yate's correction or Fisher's exact test. A multiple regression analysis was used to calculate the crude and adjusted odds ratios, together with their respective 95% confidence intervals.
Among the 158 admissions, 5 deaths, 43 cases of maternal near-miss, and 110 cases of potentially life-threatening conditions occurred. The near-miss rate was 4.4 cases per 1,000 live births. The near-miss/death ratio was 8.6 near-misses for each maternal death, and the overall mortality index was 10.4%. Hypertensive syndromes were the main cause of admission (67.7% of the cases, 107/158); however, hemorrhage, mainly due to uterine atony and ectopic pregnancy complications, was the main cause of maternal near-misses and deaths (17/43 cases of near-miss and 2/5 deaths).
Hypertension was the main cause of admission and of potentially life-threatening conditions; however, hemorrhage was the main cause of maternal near-misses and deaths at this institution, suggesting that delays may occur in implementing appropriate obstetrical care.
Maternal mortality; Maternal near-miss; Organ dysfunction or failure; Obstetrical hemorrhage; Severe pre-eclampsia/eclampsia
Effective interventions to reduce mortality and morbidity in maternal and newborn health already exist. Information about quality and performance of care and the use of critical interventions are useful for shaping improvements in health care and strengthening the contribution of health systems towards the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5. The near-miss concept and the criterion-based clinical audit are proposed as useful approaches for obtaining such information in maternal and newborn health care. This paper presents the methods of the World Health Organization Multicountry Study in Maternal and Newborn Health. The main objectives of this study are to determine the prevalence of maternal near-miss cases in a worldwide network of health facilities, evaluate the quality of care using the maternal near-miss concept and the criterion-based clinical audit, and develop the near-miss concept in neonatal health.
This is a large cross-sectional study being implemented in a worldwide network of health facilities. A total of 370 health facilities from 29 countries will take part in this study and produce nearly 275,000 observations. All women giving birth, all maternal near-miss cases regardless of the gestational age and delivery status and all maternal deaths during the study period comprise the study population. In each health facility, medical records of all eligible women will be reviewed during a data collection period that ranges from two to three months according to the annual number of deliveries.
Implementing the systematic identification of near-miss cases, mapping the use of critical evidence-based interventions and analysing the corresponding indicators are just the initial steps for using the maternal near-miss concept as a tool to improve maternal and newborn health. The findings of projects using approaches similar to those described in this manuscript will be a good starter for a more comprehensive dialogue with governments, professionals and civil societies, health systems or facilities for promoting best practices, improving quality of care and achieving better health for mothers and children.
The maternal near-miss concept has been developed as an instrument for assisting health systems to evaluate and improve their quality of care. Our study aimed at studying the characteristics and quality of care provided to women with severe complications in Baghdad through the use of the World Health Organization (WHO) near-miss approach for maternal health.
This is a facility-based, cross-sectional study conducted in 6 public hospitals in Baghdad between March 1, 2010 and the June 30, 2010. WHO near-miss approach was utilized to analyze the data in terms of indicators of maternal near miss and access to and quality of maternal care.
The maternal near-miss rate was low at 5.06 per 1,000 live births, while the overall maternal near miss: mortality ratio was 9:1. One third of the near-miss cases were referred from other facilities and the mortality index was the same for referred women and for in-hospital women (11%). The intensive care unit (ICU) admission rate was 37% for women with severe maternal outcomes (SMO), while the overall admission rate was 0.28%. Anemia (55%) and previous cesarean section (45%) were the most common associated conditions with severe maternal morbidity. The use of magnesium sulfate for treatment of eclampsia, oxytocin for prevention and treatment of postpartum hemorrhage, prophylactic antibiotics during caesarean section, and corticosteroids for inducing fetal lung maturation in preterm birth is suboptimum.
The WHO near-miss approach allowed systematic identification of the roadblocks to improve quality of care and then monitoring the progress. Critical evidence-based practices, relevant to the management of women experiencing life-threatening conditions, are underused. In addition, possible limitations in the referral system result in a very high proportion of women presenting at the hospital already in a severe health condition (i.e. with organ dysfunction). A shortage of ICU beds leading to women taken care of without admission to ICU may also contribute to a high proportion of maternal deaths and organ dysfunction.
Maternal morbidity; Obstetric complications; WHO near-miss approach; Quality improvement; Developing countries; Baghdad
The purpose of the study was to evaluate intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) of variables concerning personal characteristics, structure, outcome and process in the Brazilian Network for Surveillance of Severe Maternal Morbidity study conducted to identify severe maternal morbidity/near miss cases using the World Health Organization criteria.
It was a cross-sectional, multicenter study involving 27 hospitals providing care for pregnant women in Brazil. Cluster size and the mean size of the primary sampling unit were described. Estimated prevalence rates, ICC, their respective 95% confidence intervals, the design effect and the mean cluster size were presented for each variable.
Overall, 9,555 cases of severe maternal morbidity (woman admitted with potentially life-threatening conditions, near miss events or death) were included in the study. ICC ranged from < 0.001 to 0.508, with a median of 0.035. ICC was < 0.1 for approximately 75% of the variables. For process-related variables, median ICC was 0.09, with 0.021 for those related to outcome. These findings confirm data from previous studies. Homogeneity may be considered minor, thus increasing reliability of these findings.
These results may be used to design new cluster trials in maternal and perinatal health and to help calculate sample sizes.
Intraclass correlation coefficient; Maternal near miss; Severe maternal morbidity; Maternal and perinatal health
Use of maternal health care in low-income countries has been associated with several socioeconomic and demographic factors, although contextual analyses of the latter have been few. A previous study showed that 75% of women with severe obstetric morbidity (near-miss) identified at hospitals in La Paz, Bolivia were in critical conditions upon arrival, underscoring the significance of pre-hospital barriers also in this setting with free and accessible maternal health care. The present study explores how health care-seeking behaviour for near-miss morbidity is conditioned in La Paz, Bolivia.
Thematic interviews with 30 women with a near-miss event upon arrival at hospital. Near-miss was defined based on clinical and management criteria. Modified analytic induction was applied in the analysis that was further influenced by theoretical views that care-seeking behaviour is formed by predisposing characteristics, enabling factors, and perceived need, as well as by socially shaped habitual behaviours.
The self-perception of being fundamentally separated from "others", meaning those who utilise health care, was typical for women who customarily delivered at home and who delayed seeking medical assistance for obstetric emergencies. Other explanations given by these women were distrust of authority, mistreatment by staff, such as not being kept informed about their condition or the course of their treatment, all of which reinforced their dissociation from the health-care system.
The findings illustrate health care-seeking behaviour as a practise that is substantially conditioned by social differentiation. Social marginalization and the role health institutions play in shaping care-seeking behaviour have been de-emphasised by focusing solely on endogenous cultural factors in Bolivia.
WHO proposes a set of organ-failure based criteria for maternal near miss. Our objective was to evaluate what implementation of these criteria would mean for the analysis of a cohort of 386 women in Thyolo District, Malawi, who sustained severe acute maternal morbidity according to disease-based criteria.
Methods and Findings
A WHO Maternal Near Miss (MNM) Tool, created to compare disease-, intervention- and organ-failure based criteria for maternal near miss, was completed for each woman, based on a review of all available medical records. Using disease-based criteria developed for the local setting, 341 (88%) of the 386 women fulfilled the WHO disease-based criteria provided by the WHO MNM Tool, 179 (46%) fulfilled the intervention-based criteria, and only 85 (22%) the suggested organ-failure based criteria.
In this low-resource setting, application of these organ-failure based criteria that require relatively sophisticated laboratory and clinical monitoring underestimates the occurrence of maternal near miss. Therefore, these criteria and the suggested WHO approach may not be suited to compare maternal near miss across all settings.
Aim: To assess the risk factors, the mortality and the “near-miss” morbidity in primary PPH.
Setting and Design: A retrospective analysis of 124 women with PPH (within 24 hrs of delivery) over 4 consecutive years in a tertiary care hospital in rural bangalore.
Material and Methods: The case sheets of the patients, which were identified by the labour record registers as having PPH were reviewed by the same person, to identify the actual impact of the condition. The data was analyzed by Chi-square analysis.
Result: PPH (the loss of blood that caused significant alterations in the maternal condition or a blood loss of 500 cc in vaginal deliveries or of >1000 cc in caesarean sections) was recorded in 124 women; 60 had delivered in hospitals (Group-A) and 64 had been referred after their deliveries (Group-B) from various peripheral centres, i.e., maternity hospitals, nursing homes and district and community health centres. The maternal mortality ratio during this period was 71/100,000 (4 deaths/5600 live births). Of these 4 deaths, 0 were in group A and 4 were in group B. The “near-miss” morbidity was higher than the mortality (total 20/124; 6/60 in Group-A and 14/64 in Group-B). The delayed referrals and the lack of an active 3rd stage management in Group-B were responsible for most of the adverse events.
Conclusion: Both the “near-miss” morbidity and the mortality in PPH reflect the level of obstetric care in the developing world. These need to be reduced by strengthening the peripheral delivery facilities, the active 3rd stage management and the timely referrals.
Maternal mortality; “Near-miss” morbidity; Primary postpartum haemorrhage
To study the prevalence of potentially life-threatening maternal conditions and near miss in Brazil according to maternal age.
A secondary analysis of the 2006 Brazilian demographic health survey database using a validated questionnaire to evaluate maternal morbidity with a focus on age extremes. The study included 5,025 women with at least 1 live birth in the 5-year reference period preceding their interviews. Three age range periods were used: 15-19 years (younger age), 20-34 years (control), and 35-49 years (advanced maternal age). According to a pragmatic definition, any woman reporting eclampsia, hysterectomy, blood transfusion, or admission to the intensive care unit during her pregnancy/childbirth was considered a near-miss case. The associations between age and severe maternal morbidity were further assessed.
For the 6,833 reported pregnancies, 73.7% of the women were 20-34 years old, 17.9% were of advanced maternal age, and only 8.4% were of younger age. More than 22% of the women had at least one of the complications appraised, and blood transfusion, which was more prevalent among the controls, was the only variable with a significant difference among the age groups. The overall rate of maternal near miss was 21.1 per 1000 live births. There was a trend of higher maternal near miss with increasing age. The only significant risk factor identified for maternal near miss was a lower literacy level among older women.
There is a trend towards worse results with increasing age. The investigation of the determinants of maternal near miss at the community level using an innovative approach through a demographic health survey is an example suggested for under-resourced settings.
Morbidity; Obstetric Complication; Pregnancy in Adolescence; Maternal Age
To determine the prevalence of severe acute maternal morbidity (SAMM) worldwide (near miss).
Systematic review of all available data. The methodology followed a pre-defined protocol, an extensive search strategy of 10 electronic databases as well as other sources. Articles were evaluated according to specified inclusion criteria. Data were extracted using data extraction instrument which collects additional information on the quality of reporting including definitions and identification of cases. Data were entered into a specially constructed database and tabulated using SAS statistical management and analysis software.
A total of 30 studies are included in the systematic review. Designs are mainly cross-sectional and 24 were conducted in hospital settings, mostly teaching hospitals. Fourteen studies report on a defined SAMM condition while the remainder use a response to an event such as admission to intensive care unit as a proxy for SAMM. Criteria for identification of cases vary widely across studies. Prevalences vary between 0.80% – 8.23% in studies that use disease-specific criteria while the range is 0.38% – 1.09% in the group that use organ-system based criteria and included unselected group of women. Rates are within the range of 0.01% and 2.99% in studies using management-based criteria. It is not possible to pool data together to provide summary estimates or comparisons between different settings due to variations in case-identification criteria. Nevertheless, there seems to be an inverse trend in prevalence with development status of a country.
There is a clear need to set uniform criteria to classify patients as SAMM. This standardisation could be made for similar settings separately. An organ-system dysfunction/failure approach is the most epidemiologically sound as it is least open to bias, and thus could permit developing summary estimates.
Auditing of sentinel health events based on best-practice protocols has been recommended. This study describes a population-based investigation on adverse perinatal events including severe acute maternal morbidity (near-miss), maternal and perinatal mortality, as a health intervention to help improve the surveillance system.
From October to December 2005, all cases of maternal death (MD), near-miss (NM), fetal deaths (FD), and early neonatal deaths (END), occurring in Campinas, Brazil, were audited by maternal mortality committees.
A total of 4,491 liveborn infants (LB) and 159 adverse perinatal events (35.4/1000 LB) were revised, consisting of 4 MD (89/100.000 LB) and 95 NM (21.1/1000 LB), 23.7 NM for each MD. In addition, 32 FD (7.1/1000 LB) and 28 END (6.2/1000 LB) occurred. The maternal death/near miss rate was 23.7:1. Some delay in care was recognized for 34%, and hypertensive complications comprised 57.8% of the NM events, followed by postpartum hemorrhage.
Auditing near miss cases expanded the understanding of the spectrum from maternal morbidity to mortality and the importance of promoting adhesion to clinical protocols among maternal mortality committee members. Hypertensive disorders and postpartum hemorrhage were identified as priority topics for health providers training, and organization of care.
Improving maternal health is one of the Millennium Development Goals for 2015. Recently some progress has been achieved in reducing mortality. On the other hand, in developed regions, maternal death is a relatively rare event compared to the number of cases of morbidity; hence studying maternal morbidity has become more relevant. Electronic surveillance systems may improve research by facilitating complete data reporting and reducing the time required for data collection and analysis. Therefore the purpose of this study was to describe the methods used in elaborating and implementing the National Network for the Surveillance of Severe Maternal Morbidity in Brazil.
The project consisted of a multicenter, cross-sectional study for the surveillance of severe maternal morbidity including near-miss, in Brazil.
Following the development of a conceptual framework, centers were selected for inclusion in the network, consensus meetings were held among the centers, an electronic data collection system was identified, specific software and hardware tools were developed, research material was prepared, and the implementation process was initiated and analyzed.
The conceptual framework developed for this network was based on the experience acquired in various studies carried out in the area over recent years and encompasses maternal and perinatal health. It is innovative especially in the context of a developing country. The implementation of the project represents the first step towards this planned management. The system online elaborated for this surveillance network may be used in further studies in reproductive and perinatal health.
surveillance network; severe maternal morbidity; near-miss; multicenter cross-sectional study
It has been suggested that the study of women who survive life-threatening complications related to pregnancy (maternal near-miss cases) may represent a practical alternative to surveillance of maternal morbidity/mortality since the number of cases is higher and the woman herself is able to provide information on the difficulties she faced and the long-term repercussions of the event. These repercussions, which may include sexual dysfunction, postpartum depression and posttraumatic stress disorder, may persist for prolonged periods of time, affecting women's quality of life and resulting in adverse effects to them and their babies.
The aims of the present study are to create a nationwide network of scientific cooperation to carry out surveillance and estimate the frequency of maternal near-miss cases, to perform a multicenter investigation into the quality of care for women with severe complications of pregnancy, and to carry out a multidimensional evaluation of these women up to six months.
This project has two components: a multicenter, cross-sectional study to be implemented in 27 referral obstetric units in different geographical regions of Brazil, and a concurrent cohort study of multidimensional analysis. Over 12 months, investigators will perform prospective surveillance to identify all maternal complications. The population of the cross-sectional component will consist of all women surviving potentially life-threatening conditions (severe maternal complications) or life-threatening conditions (the maternal near miss criteria) and maternal deaths according to the new WHO definition and criteria. Data analysis will be performed in case subgroups according to the moment of occurrence and determining cause. Frequencies of near-miss and other severe maternal morbidity and the association between organ dysfunction and maternal death will be estimated. A proportion of cases identified in the cross-sectional study will comprise the cohort of women for the multidimensional analysis. Various aspects of the lives of women surviving severe maternal complications will be evaluated 3 and 6 months after the event and compared to a group of women who suffered no severe complications in pregnancy. Previously validated questionnaires will be used in the interviews to assess reproductive function, posttraumatic stress, functional capacity, quality of life, sexual function, postpartum depression and infant development.
To identify all the records within the Brazilian Hospital Information System (HIS) that contained information suggestive of severe maternal morbidity (near miss); to describe the diagnoses and procedures used; to identify variables associated with maternal death.
A descriptive population study with data from the HIS and Mortality Information System (MIS) files of records of women during pregnancy, delivery and in the postpartum period in all the capital cities of the Brazilian states in 2002. Initially, records of women between 10 and 49 years of age were selected; next, those records with at least one criterion suggestive of near miss were selected. For the linkage of HIS with MIS and HIS with itself, a blocking strategy consisting of three independent steps was established. In the data analysis, near miss ratios were calculated with corresponding 95% confidence interval and the diagnoses and procedures were described; a multiple logistic regression model was adjusted. Primary and secondary diagnoses and the requested and performed procedures during hospitalization were the main outcome measures.
The overall maternal near miss ratio was 44.3/1,000 live births. Among the records indicating near miss, 154 maternal deaths were identified. The criteria of severity most frequently found were infection, preeclampsia and hemorrhage. Logistic regression analysis resulted in 12 variables, including four significant interactions.
Although some limitations, the perspective of routinely using this information system for surveillance of near miss and implementing measures to avoid maternal death is promising.