A study of maternal mortality in a tertiary care hospital

Usha Doddamani, Nirmala Rampure, Kaveri ., Pooja .


Background: Maternal mortality is a strong indicator for measuring the health care provided to the women by any society. Motherhood is an event of joy and celebrations for every family. It is tragic that deaths occur during pregnancy and childbirth and most are preventable. The aim is to study the incidence of maternal mortality, assess the epidemiological aspects, causes of maternal mortality and avoidable factors that can prevent maternal deaths.

Methods: A retrospective hospital based study was conducted in the Department of OBG, Gulbarga Institute of Medical Sciences, a tertiary level health care referral centre in Kalaburgi, Karnataka, India over a period of 2 years from January, 2016 to December, 2017.

Results: A total of 65 deaths were analysed. The mortality rate in study period was 364 per 1,00,000 live births. Maximum maternal deaths were reported in the age group 20-24 years. More deaths were reported in multiparous women (55.8%) as compared to primiparous women (44.2%). Most of them were unbooked cases (60%). The classic triad of haemorrhage (38.4%), hypertensive disorders (29.2%) and sepsis (12%) were the major direct causes of maternal death. Anemia was the major indirect cause of death. Other indirect causes of maternal death were jaundice, heart disease, respiratory disease and epilepsy.

Conclusions: Majority of maternal deaths were preventable by proper antenatal care, early detection of high risk pregnancies and their timely referral to tertiary care centre.


Anaemia, Haemorrhage, Hypertensive disorders, Maternal mortality, Sepsis

Full Text:



Juneja Y, Rai U. A five years review of maternal mortality. J Obstet Gynecol India. 1993;43:944-9.

Park K. Preventive medicine in obstetric, paediatric and geriatrics: Park’s Text Book of Preventive and Social Medicine. 20th edition. Jabalpur: M/S Banarasi Das Bhanot; 2009;479-483.

WHO: Maternal Mortality Factsheet Available at

Sample Registration System, Office of Registrar General, India. Special bulletin on maternal mortality in India 2010-12, December 2013. Available at

Abdella A. Maternal mortality trend in Ethiopia. Ethiop J Health Dev 2010;24(1):115-22.

Say L, Chou D, Gemmil A, Tuncalp O, Moller AB, Daniel J, et al. Global causes of maternal death: A WHO systematic analysis. Lancet Glob Health. 2014;2:e323-33.

WHO Trends in maternal mortality, 1990-2013. WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA. The World Bank and The United Nations Population Division Estimates,2014. Available at

UNICEF. The state of the world’s children 2009: maternal and newborn health. In: UNICEF, eds. Sales No. E 09.xx.1. India: United Nations Publications; 2010:2.

Special Bulletin on Maternal Mortality in India 2007-09: Sample registration system, Office of Registrar General, India; June 2011.

Tayade S, Bagde M, Shivkumar PV, Tayade A, Bagde N. Maternal death review to know the determinants of maternal mortality in a district hospital of central India. Int J Biomed Res. 2012; 3(03):157-63.

Shivkumar HC, Umashankar KM, Ramaraju HE, Shankar J.Analysis of maternal mortality in tertiary care hospital, Vijayanagara institute of medical sciences, Bellary, South India. Int J Basic Appl Medn Sci. 2013;3(2):237-42.

Pathak D, Chakraborty B, Goswami S, Adhikari S. Changing trends in maternal mortality: A comparative study. J of Obstet and Gynecol India. 2011;61(2):161-5.

Shashikala M, Usharani B. Evaluation of maternal mortality rate at a high volume tertiary referral centre: what are we missing. A study spanning 85,404 live births over 9 years. Int J of Sci and Res. 2015;4(1):302-3.

Vidhyadhar B, Purushottam A, Giri B, Garg RC. Maternal mortality at a tertiary care teaching hospital of rural India, a retrospective study. Int J Biol Med Res. 2011;2(4):1043 -6.

Monica S, Priyanka SG, Ankur G. Causes of maternal mortality and changing trends: A retrospective analysis. Int J of Sci Study. 2016;4:(7):105-7.

Sundari KPM, Jayanti RD, Ramaswamy B. Trends in a tertiary care hospital. Int J of Reprod Contracept Obstet Gynecol. 2016;5(11):3659-62.