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released: 10 Jun 2015 author: AIHW: Humphrey MD, Bonello MR, Chughtai A, Macaldowie A, Harris K & Chambers GM media release

Maternal deaths in Australia 2008–2012 is the 16th report on women who die in association with pregnancy and childbirth. Maternal death review is one of the oldest known forms of clinical care quality assurance. Maternal death in Australia is a rare event in the context of worldwide maternal deaths. In 2008–2012, there were 105 maternal deaths in Australia that occurred within 42 days of the end of pregnancy, representing a maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 7.1 deaths per 100,000 women who gave birth. All such deaths should be seen as devastating for the woman’s family and community, and should be carefully examined for possible lessons learned that may prevent future similar events.

ISSN 1449-8863; ISBN 978-1-74249-742-6; Cat. no. PER 70; 105pp.; $16

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Publication

Publication table of contents

  • Preliminary material
    • Contents
    • Acknowledgments
    • Abbreviations
    • Symbols
    • Summary
      • Key causes of maternal death in Australia in 2008-2012
      • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander maternal mortality
  • Body section
    • 1 Introduction
      • 1.1 Background to the report
      • 1.2 Purpose of this report
      • 1.3 Aims of this report
      • 1.4 Structure of this report
    • 2 Definitions, classification and methods
      • 2.1 Definitions and classifications
      • 2.2 Measuring maternal mortality
      • 2.3 Data for 2008-2012 maternal deaths
    • 3 Maternal deaths in Australia in 2008-2012
      • 3.1 Maternal mortality ratio
      • 3.2 State and territory maternal mortality ratios
      • 3.3 Causes of maternal deaths
      • 3.4 Demographic and clinical characteristics
      • 3.5 Avoidability
      • 3.6 International comparisons
    • 4 Direct and indirect maternal deaths
      • 4.1 Cardiovascular
      • 4.2 Psychosocial
      • 4.3 Obstetric haemorrhage
      • 4.4 Non-obstetric haemorrhage
      • 4.5 Sepsis
      • 4.6 Thromboembolism
      • 4.7 Hypertensive disorders
      • 4.8 Early pregnancy deaths
      • 4.9 Amniotic fluid embolism
      • 4.10 Anaesthesia-related deaths and deaths due to other causes
    • 5 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women
      • 5.1 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander maternal deaths in 2008-2012
      • 5.2 Identifying Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women
    • 6 Incidental deaths
      • 6.1 Causes of incidental maternal deaths
  • End matter
    • Appendixes
      • Appendix A: National Maternal Mortality Advisory Committee membership
      • Appendix B: Data quality statement
      • Appendix C: Ethics approval
    • Glossary
    • References
    • List of tables
    • List of figures
    • Related publications

 Notes and corrections

The current version of the publication is presented above. Previous versions of files that have been updated or corrected are presented below.

  1. (7 Sep 2016) Page 26, Chapter 4.1, sentence updated to remove 'indirect'.
    Deaths from cardiac disease in 2008–2012. There were 16 indirect maternal deaths.
    Previous version: Maternal deaths in Australia 2008–2012 (4.2MB PDF)

Recommended citation

AIHW: Humphrey MD, Bonello MR, Chughtai A, Macaldowie A, Harris K & Chambers GM 2015. Maternal deaths in Australia 2008–2012. Maternal deaths series no. 5. Cat. no. PER 70. Canberra: AIHW.

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