n South African Medical Journal - Maternal deaths associated with eclampsia in South Africa : lessons to learn from the Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths, 2005 - 2007 : forum




Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) are the commonest medical complication in pregnancy, and remain the commonest direct cause of maternal mortality in South Africa. The latest (2005 - 2007) Saving Mothers report (SMR) indicates that there were 622 maternal deaths from HDP during this period, virtually the same as in the 2002 - 2004 report. Numbers of deaths reported in the two previous SMRs were 507 for 1999 - 2001 and 628 for 2002 - 2004; these differences probably indicate under-reporting in the triennium 1999 - 2001. The most recent reports, 2002 - 2004 and 2005 - 2007, better reflect the numbers of maternal deaths from HDP.


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