NPEC Severe Maternal Morbidity

Severe maternal morbidity (SMM) is defined as a pregnant or recently-pregnant woman (i.e. up to 42days following the pregnancy end) who experienced any of the following sixteen, clearly defined,morbidities: major obstetric haemorrhage (≥2.5 Litres), uterine rupture, eclampsia, renal or liver dysfunction, pulmonary oedema, acute respiratory dysfunction, pulmonary embolism, cardiac arrest, coma, cerebrovascular event, status epilepticus, septicaemic shock, anaesthetic complications and maternities involving peripartum hysterectomy, admission to an intensive care unit (ICU) and interventional radiology.

Key messages from Severe Maternal Morbidity in Ireland Annual Report 2016:

  • There was a statistically significant increase in the rate SMM and major obstetric haemorrhage (MOH) in 2016 compared to previous years.
  • The rate of SMM was 6.46 per 1,000 maternities or one in 155 maternities.
  • MOH remains the most commonly reported morbidity. This highlights the necessity for obstetric haemorrhage protocols.
  • Variation in rates MOH were identified between units. This may reflect differences in estimating blood loss across units.
  • One in 109 women required higher levels of care (Level 2 or Level 3 care).

For further information on this audit, visit the NPEC website HERE or contact NPEC@UCC.IE