CHENNAI: An analysis by the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine reveals that hypertension and postpartum haemorrhage continue to be major causes of maternal deaths in the state. Of the 479 maternal deaths recorded in 2022-23, 20% each were due to hypertension and postpartum haemorrhage, and 10% due to heart diseases.
“Such analysis at regular intervals helps us identify high risk mothers and ensure proper treatment,” said Dr T S Selvavinayagam, director of public health. The analysis also showed that 9% deaths were due to sepsis and neurological disorders each, 8% due to respiratory disorders, 5% due to abortion and 3% due to anaemia. “The risk among pregnant women should be identified early at all levels from village health nurses to gynaecology specialists and followed up with the mother. There are already WHO guidelines on how to manage high risk pregnant women,” Selvavinayagam added.
Dr K Kalaivani, director, Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Government Hospital for Women and Children, said doctors can be prepared as there are indicators if pregnant women might go for postpartum haemorrhage. “Women with multiple pregnancies, placenta previa, prolonged labour and others can go for postpartum haemorrhage. Hypertension will be controlled by monitoring regularly,” said Dr Kalaivani.
TN’s Maternal Mortality Rate dropped to 54 per 1 lakh live births in 2018-20 from 58 in 2017-19, as per the data released by the Union Health Ministry in 2022. Among the southern states, TN stands fourth in MMR. Maternal mortality rate includes all causes related to maternal deaths, including unsafe abortion. If postpartum haemorrhage occurs in anaemic patients, the risk of death is high. Maternal deaths are more or less the same compared to previous years, the DPH said.