Author(s): Fildes J, Reed L, Jones N, Martin M, Barrett J
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Abstract The records of the Cook County Medical Examiner were reviewed for the period January, 1986, to December, 1989. Ninety-five maternal deaths were identified. The causes of maternal death were categorized as direct maternal, indirect maternal, or nonmaternal. Direct maternal causes of death (18.9\%) were the result of complications of pregnancy, labor, delivery, or its management. Indirect maternal causes of death (12.6\%) occurred when pre-existing health problems were exacerbated by pregnancy. All other maternal deaths were the result of nonmaternal causes. Nonmaternal causes of maternal death were further classified as traumatic or nontraumatic. Traumatic maternal deaths (46.3\%) were attributed to homicide in 57\% and suicide in 9\%. The mechanism of injury in traumatic maternal deaths included gunshot wounds (22.7\%), motor vehicle crashes (20.5\%), stab wounds (13.6\%), strangulation (13.6\%), blunt head injuries (9.1\%), burns (6.8\%), falls (4.5\%), toxic exposure (4.5\%), drowning (2.3\%), and iatrogenic injury (2.3\%). Trauma was therefore the leading cause of maternal death, accounting for 46.3\% of deaths in this series.
This article was published in J Trauma
and referenced in Dentistry