This article presents the findings of a study on levels and causes of maternal mortality in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation. Data about all pregnancy-related deaths in St. Petersburg over the period 1992–2003 was collected using several sources of information. Trends of overall and cause specific ratios (deaths per 100 000 births) for four 3-year intervals were tested using the c² test. The authors found that the maternal mortality ratio for the study period was 43 per 100 000 live births. There was a sharp decline of direct obstetric deaths from the first to fourth 3-year interval. Sepsis and haemorrhage were the main causes of direct obstetric deaths. Among the total deaths from sepsis, 63.8% were due to abortion. Noting that maternal mortality levels in St. Petersburg still exceed European levels by a factor of five, the authors conclude that improved management of abortion, emergency care for sepsis and haemorrhage, and better identification and control of infectious diseases in pregnancy, is needed.
By: Natalia A Gurina, Siri Vangen, Lisa Forsén, & Johanne Sundby; Bulletin of the World Health Organization (WHO), Volume 84, Number 4, April 2006