Towards safe motherhood to - are we moving in the right direction?: experience from an urban health facility in South India


  • Ramya Thangavelu Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Lalitha Natarajan Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India



Hemorrhage, Hypertension, Maternal mortality, MMR, Multi organ dysfunction, Suicide


Background: This study was designed to evaluate the institutional Maternal Mortality Ratio (iMMR) in our institution, a tertiary private medical college hospital and to suggest recommendations and possible interventions to reduce it.

Methods: This retrospective descriptive study was conducted by reviewing the hospital records over a period of ten years from January 2009-December 2018. The case records were reviewed for maternal demographic characteristics and complications.

Results: The total number of deaths during the study period was 21, giving an iMMR of 85.268 per 100000 live births. Most of the maternal deaths (>80%) occurred postpartum. Obstetric causes contributed to 57% of the deaths with hypertension and hemorrhage topping the list. Other causes were sepsis and non obstetric causes including one case of maternal suicide. 52.38% of the women died more than 48 hours after admission to the hospital, while 28.57% succumbed in less than six hours. Secondary complications noted were ICU admission, extended intubation, massive transfusion, operative intervention and multi organ dysfunction.

Conclusions: The classical triad of Hypertension, Hemorrhage and Sepsis continues to be the major determinant of maternal mortality and are potentially preventable by promoting universal access to quality health care, strengthening of health services and ensuring accountability.


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