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Maternal death

From Academic Kids

Maternal death is the death of a woman that occurs directly related to the reproductive process. The UN estimated a world-wide total of 529,000 maternal deaths in the year 2000 with less than one percent of deaths occurring in developed nations.

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Major causes

The major causes of maternal death are bacterial infection, toxemia, obstetrical hemorrhage, ectopic pregnancy, puerperal sepsis, and abortion.

Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR)

Maternal Mortality Ratio is the ratio of the number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. The MMR is used as a measure of the quality of a health care system. In the United States, the maternal death rate is 17 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in the year 2000. Sierra Leone has the highest maternal death rate at 2,000, and Afghanistan has the second highest maternal death rate at 1900 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, reported by the UN based on 2000 figures. Lowest rates included Iceland at 0 per 100,000 and Austria at 4 per 100,000. Of course, annual rates of deaths per 100,000 births are going to be uselessly noisy for a country like Iceland with only 300,000 people and about 4000 births per year. "Lifetime risk of maternal death" accounts for number of pregnancies and risk. In sub-Saharan Africa the lifetime risk of maternal death is 1 in 16, for developed nations only 1 in 2,800.

Associated risk factors

High rates of maternal deaths occur in the same countries that have high rates of infant mortality reflecting generally poor nutrition and medical care.

Low birth weight of the child increases the risk of maternal death from cardiovascular disease. Subtracting one kilogram of infant birth weight doubles the risk of maternal death. Therefore, the heavier the birth weight of child, the lower the risk of maternal death.

Maternal death rates in the 20th century

The death rate for women giving birth plummeted in the 20th century.

At the beginning of the century, maternal death rates were around their historical level of nearly 1 in 100 for live births. The number today in the United States is 1 in 10,000, a 99% decline.

The decline in maternal deaths has been due largely to improved asespsis, use of cesarian section, fluid management and blood transfusion, and better prenatal care.

Famous Maternal deaths in life and fiction

See also

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