Preventability of maternal near miss and mortality in Rwanda: A case series from the University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (CHUK).

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: Assess the primary causes and preventability of maternal near misses (MNM) and mortalities (MM) at the largest tertiary referral hospital in Rwanda, Kigali University Teaching Hospital (CHUK). METHODS: We reviewed records for all women admitted to CHUK with pregnancy-related complications between January 1st, 2015 and December 31st, 2015. All maternal deaths and near misses, based on WHO near miss criteria were reviewed (Appendix A). A committee of physicians actively involved in the care of pregnant women in the obstetric-gynecology department reviewed all maternal near misses/ pregnancy-related deaths to determine the preventability of these outcomes. Preventability was assessed using the Three Delays Model.[1] Descriptive statistics were used to show qualitative and quantitative outcomes of the maternal near miss and mortality. RESULTS: We identified 121 maternal near miss (MNM) and maternal deaths. The most common causes of maternal near miss and maternal death were sepsis/severe systemic infection (33.9%), postpartum hemorrhage (28.1%), and complications from eclampsia (18.2%)/severe preeclampsia (5.8%)/. In our obstetric population, MNM and deaths occurred in 87.6% and 12.4% respectively. Facility level delays (diagnostic and therapeutic) through human error or mismanagement (provider issues) were the most common preventable factors accounting for 65.3% of preventable maternal near miss and 10.7% maternal deaths, respectively. Lack of supplies, blood, medicines, ICU space, and equipment (system issues) were responsible for 5.8% of preventable maternal near misses and 2.5% of preventable maternal deaths. Delays in seeking care contributed to 22.3% of cases and delays in arrival from home to care facilities resulted in 9.1% of near misses and mortalities. Cesarean delivery was the most common procedure associated with sepsis/death in our population. Previous cesarean delivery (24%) and obstructed/prolonged labor (13.2%) contributed to maternal near miss and mortalities. CONCLUSION: The most common preventable causes of MNM and deaths were medical errors, shortage of medical supplies, and lack of patient education/understanding of obstetric emergencies. Reduction in medical errors, improved supply/equipment availability and patient education in early recognition of pregnancy-related danger signs will reduce the majority of delays associated with MNM and mortality in our population.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Benimana, C; Small, M; Rulisa, S

Published Date

  • 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 13 / 6

Start / End Page

  • e0195711 -

PubMed ID

  • 29944664

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6019403

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1932-6203

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1371/journal.pone.0195711


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States