The scope of this study was to determine the prevalence of near misses and complications during pregnancy and the puerperal period, identifying the main clinical and intervention markers and socioeconomic and demographic factors associated with near misses. It involved a cross-sectional, population-based and probabilistic study with multi-stage complex sampling design conducted in Natal, State of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. A validated questionnaire was given to 848 women aged 15 to 49 identified in 8,227 households in 60 census sectors. In theanalysis of associations, the Chi-square test applied and calculated the prevalence ratio (PR) with Confidence Interval (CI) of 95% and 5% significance. The prevalence of maternal near misses was 41.1/1000LB, with hospitalization in an Intensive Care Unit (19.1/1000LB) and eclampsia (13.5/1000LB) being the most important markers. The prevalence of complications during pregnancy and the puerperal period was 21.2%. The highest prevalence of near misses was observed in older women, of black/brown race and low socioeconomic status. Conducting population surveys is feasible and may add important information to the study of near misses and the markers highlight the need for enhancing maternal care to reduce health inequality.
Morbidity; Complications during pregnancy; Epidemiological surveys