Socio-demographic characteristics and the three delays of maternal mortality

J Coll Physicians Surg Pak. 2009 Feb;19(2):95-8.


Objective: To describe the socio-demographic characteristics and the three delays of maternal mortality in a tertiary teaching hospital.

Study design: Retrospective, observational study.

Place and duration of study: Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Unit III, Civil Hospital, Karachi, from April 2005 to May 2008.

Methodology: One hundred and four consecutive maternal deaths were reviewed. Data regarding age, parity, sociodemographic characteristics, booking status, referral source, cause of death and the three delays was collected on structured proformas, analyzed by the statistical software, SPSS version 13, and presented in the form of frequencies and percentages.

Results: The projected maternal mortality ratio was 1650/100,000 live births. The mean age was 28+/-6.2 years and median parity was two. Seventy-one women (68%) were uneducated, 65 (62.5%) belonged to lower socioeconomic class and 60 (58%) had received no antenatal care. Ninety-eight women (94%) had one or more delays, with 70 (71%) having the first delay, 73 (74%) having the second delay and 47 (48%) the third delay. The most frequent reasons for first, second and third delays were lack of awareness in 88.5% women, long distance in 39.7% women and difficulty in getting blood in 49% women respectively.

Conclusion: The very high maternal mortality ratio suggests lack of access of women to quality healthcare facilities. A majority of these women suffered first and second delays in their management, which could be due to their poor sociodemographic factors.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cause of Death
  • Demography*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • Maternal Health Services / organization & administration
  • Maternal Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Maternal Mortality / trends*
  • Pakistan / epidemiology
  • Parity
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / mortality*
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Time Factors