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The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare have released Maternal deaths in Australia 2006-2010, the 15th report on women who die during pregnancy and childbirth.
'The term 'maternal deaths' refers to the deaths of women while pregnant or within 42 days of the end of pregnancy, from causes related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management,' said AIHW spokesperson Professor Michael Humphrey. Maternal deaths are divided into direct and indirect deaths. Direct deaths are those that result directly from complications of pregnancy or its management; and indirect deaths are those that are due to other disease but where disease progression is influenced by pregnancy.
The report finds that deaths from complications of pregnancy and childbirth are rare among Australian women, but some groups are at greater risk than others, notably Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. 'Indigenous women were about three times as likely to die as non-Indigenous women, with a maternal mortality rate of 16.4 deaths per 100,000 women giving birth (9 deaths),' said Professor Humphrey. 'Sepsis and cardiac conditions have been the leading causes of maternal death among Indigenous women over the period 1997 to 2010.'
Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare