This study analyzed the occurrence of severe maternal morbidity, the most frequent diagnostic criteria, and the quality of obstetric care in public hospitals in Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo State, Brazil. A quantitative surveillance survey of severe maternal morbidity used World Health Organization (WHO) criteria for potentially life-threatening conditions and maternal near miss. Cases were identified from August 1, 2015, to February 2, 2016. The sample included 259 women with severe maternal morbidity (potentially life-threatening conditions/maternal near miss) during the gestational and postpartum cycle, hospitalized for childbirth in the four public institutions providing obstetric care in the city. The descriptive analysis was based on absolute and relative rates of diagnostic criteria for potentially life-threatening conditions and maternal near miss, besides description of the women in the sample (sociodemographic characteristics, obstetric history, and prenatal and childbirth care). Quality of care indicators set by the WHO based on morbimortality were also calculated. There were 3,497 deliveries, 3,502 live births in all the hospitals in the city, two maternal deaths, and 19 maternal near miss. Maternal near miss ratio was 5.4 cases per 1,000 live births, and the maternal mortality ratio was 57.1 deaths per 100,000 live birth. The mortality rate among cases with severe maternal outcome (maternal near miss plus maternal death) was 9.5%. The study revealed important potentially life-threatening conditions and maternal near miss rates. The occurrence of deaths from hemorrhagic causes highlights the need to improve the quality of obstetric care. The findings can potentially help improve local policy for obstetric care.
Healthcare Near Miss; Maternal Death; Morbidity