Mortalidad materna: Morbilidad extrema en países de ingresos medios, una revisión sistemática

Anke Heitkamp, Anne Meulenbroek, Jos van Roosmalen, Stefan Gebhardt, Linda Vollmer, Johanna I. de Vries, Gerhard Theron, Thomas van den Akker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Objective To describe the incidence and main causes of maternal near-miss events in middle-income countries using the World Health Organization’s (WHO) maternal near-miss tool and to evaluate its applicability in these settings. Methods We did a systematic review of studies on maternal near misses in middle-income countries published over 2009–2020. We extracted data on number of live births, number of maternal near misses, major causes of maternal near miss and most frequent organ dysfunction. We extracted, or calculated, the maternal near-miss ratio, maternal mortality ratio and mortality index. We also noted descriptions of researchers’ experiences and modifications of the WHO tool for local use. Findings We included 69 studies from 26 countries (12 lower-middle-and 14 upper-middle-income countries). Studies reported a total of 50 552 maternal near misses out of 10 450 482 live births. Median number of cases of maternal near miss per 1000 live births was 15.9 (interquartile range, IQR: 8.9–34.7) in lower-middle-and 7.8 (IQR: 5.0–9.6) in upper-middle-income countries, with considerable variation between and within countries. The most frequent causes of near miss were obstetric haemorrhage in 19/40 studies in lower-middle-income countries and hypertensive disorders in 15/29 studies in upper-middle-income countries. Around half the studies recommended adaptations to the laboratory and management criteria to avoid underestimation of cases of near miss, as well as clearer guidance to avoid different interpretations of the tool. Conclusion In several countries, adaptations of the WHO near-miss tool to the local context were suggested, possibly hampering international comparisons, but facilitating locally relevant audits to learn lessons.

Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)693-707F
JournalBulletin of the World Health Organization
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021

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