Report into death of pregnant woman denied an abortion blames clinical mistakes rather than Irish lawBMJ 2013; 346 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f3908 (Published 14 June 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f3908
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Re: Report into death of pregnant woman denied an abortion blames clinical mistakes rather than Irish law
Reducing the number of maternal deaths is one of the Millennium Development Goals declared by the World Health Organization (WHO); this is only the tip of the iceberg of extremely severe maternal morbidity during pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium. We do not yet know the magnitude of this type of disease, which is required if we are to achieve a real improvement in maternal health. The incidence of acute complications during pregnancy may be similar in the developed and under developed, however, differences in detection and management can account for the huge gap in maternal mortality ratios and the incidence of aftermath long term.
Maternal mortality is a public health and human rights problem. High rates of maternal morbidity and mortality attract attention because they affect the right of women and girls to life, health, equality, non-discrimination and the enjoyment of the advances in scientific knowledge, recognized by the United Nations.
The obstetric patient review is the woman who during the pregnant-puerperal period regardless of the length and location of the pregnancy presents with disturbances in the function of one or more organ systems, or a situation that may compromise their survival at some point in their evolution, where death is a possible alternative, thus requiring monitoring and intensive medical care.
Admission to intensive care units (ICU) is considered a marker of extremely severe maternal morbidity and is an important tool for reducing morbidity and mortality, in the management of complicated obstetric patients. Fully aware of this, Cuba has implemented a series of actions to reduce maternal mortality, from 1959, which included the spread of intensive information throughout the country.
In patients with sepsis the key to success is in the early identification of symptoms and signs of it, from the appearance of systemic inflammatory response syndrome to achieve adequate management according to clinical practice guidelines and protocols and avoid progression to multiple organ dysfunctions.
1. Houston Muiris. Report into death of pregnant woman denied an abortion blames clinical mistakes rather than Irish law. BMJ 2013;346:f3908.
2. UNICEF. INHEM. Cuba. La morbilidad materna extremadamente grave, un reto actual para la reducción de la mortalidad materna. La Habana: Molinos Trade S.A. 2012. p. 9-23.
Competing interests: No competing interests