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It is of great relief to know that maternal mortality in the recent
flu pandemic is significantly lower than in previous pandemics.
However, these figures should be taken with tremendous caution - That
11 out of 64 women died from 2009 A/H1N1 influenza suggests that the
disease is more benign than in 1918-9 and 1957-8. Of course in those
pandemics, the sophicticated intensive care that we can now offer, as well
as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation techniques just did not exist. Even
now , they only exist for a small proportion of the worlds population. Had
more developing countries been affected by 2009 A/H1N1 influenza, where
intensive care is far less available, then I suspect the mortality rate of
infected and post partum women would be an awful lot higher