The profile of maternal deaths in a district hospital: a five-year review of maternal deaths at Northdale hospital (2006 to 2010)

Polycarpe Makinga, Jack Moodley


Background: In South Africa, data on maternal deaths are notified to the confidential enquiry into maternal deaths committee, and presented in a national report in an aggregated manner that does permit an individual health facility to plan for improvement. This report focus on what went wrong and not what was done correctly.

Type of study: a five-year retrospective review of patientsí charts

Objectives: to review the demographic, socio-economic, and other characteristics of maternal deaths patients, to determine the common primary and final causes of deaths and the prevalence of HIV among maternal deaths patients, and finally to determine both adverse and positive circumstances / incidents / interventions that might have happen in the process of caring for maternal deaths patients.

Setting: Northdale hospital

Methodology: A standardized data collection tool, which was developed by Aberdeen University in the UK adapted for South African setting.

Ethic considerations: permission from hospital management and department of health, Ethical review by UKZN ethics committee.†††