South African Medical Journal

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Review of maternal deaths at Umtata General Hospital - 1981 - 1985 and 1988 -1992

B.A. Jeyarajah


Objective. To assess and evaluate the detenninants of maternal mortality for the periods 1981 - 1985 and 1988 -1992.

Design. Retrospective case study.

Setting. Referral hospital, Umtata, E. Cape.

Patients. All maternal deaths at Umtata General Hospital during the study period. Intervention. None.

Main outcome measures. Avoidable and unavoidable causes of maternal deaths..

Results. The crude maternal mortality rate was 158.6/100 000 live births. No  particular trends were detected. The three major causes were medical conditions, hypertension and obstetric haemorrhage.

Conclusion. Doctor-related, patient-related and transportation problems were identified as the main avoidable factors. Improvement in primary heaJth care, medical staffing and the transport system are the main recommendations

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