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"Definition of Maternal Death"

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Created: August 24, 2006

Definition:
Maternal death is the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management, but not from accidental or incidental causes.

A maternal death is one for which the certifying physician has designated a maternal condition as the underlying cause of death.

Sources:
World Health Organization. 1999. Maternal Death. Glossary of Terms. Reproductive health in refugee situations: An inter-agency field manual p. 132. Glossary at: http://www.who.int/reproductive-health/publications/interagency_manual_on_RH_in_refugee_situations/a3.pdf
National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). 2004. Data Definitions. Maternal Death. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/datawh/nchsdefs/maternaldeath.htm

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