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RCOG statement on the Scottish Confidential Audit of Severe Maternal Morbidity

News 8 July 2014

The Scottish Confidential Audit of Severe Maternal Morbidity by Healthcare Improvement Scotland looks at data from 2012. The 10th Annual Report also looks back over the last 10 years.

The report describes severe maternal morbidity reported from all 17 consultant-led maternity units in Scotland in 2012.

It finds that one in every 140 pregnancies is affected by severe maternal morbidity, most commonly major obstetric haemorrhage (MOH) and concludes that there are deficiencies in the prevention and the management of MOH.

Professor Alan Cameron, Vice President for Clinical Quality at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said:

“This 10th annual report shows that major obstetric haemorrhage remains the most frequent cause of severe maternal morbidity in Scotland.

“Clinicians must be aware of the known risk factors for haemorrhage and should take these into account when counselling women about place of delivery to ensure the wellbeing and safety of both the mother and the baby. This is recommended in our clinical guideline on postpartum haemorrhage. All healthcare professionals should also receive training in the management of haemorrhage to ensure the best care is given.

“Obesity is a known risk factor and the report shows that there was a significantly higher rate of severe maternal morbidity in women with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. The RCOG advocates the importance of the life-course approach, which promotes prevention rather than intervention and encourages a healthy lifestyle.

“It is also vital that we move towards 24/7 consultant presence in the larger units to ensure women at any time of day or night are receiving the best possible care as sever haemorrhage can be unpredictable and may need a multi-disciplinary team approach.”

The full report can be found here.