MBRRACE-UK release: Saving Lives, Improving Mothers’ Care Rapid Report
The MBRRACE-UK collaboration's Saving Lives, Improving Mothers' Care rapid report: Learning from SARS-CoV-2-related and associated maternal deaths in the UK highlights that pregnant and postpartum women with COVID-19 must receive joint care from physicians, obstetricians and midwives, and it must be recognised that perinatal mental health services are essential to maternity care even in the context of service changes due to COVID-19.
The report reviewed the care of all pregnant and postnatal women who died with SARS-CoV-2 infection, from mental health-related causes or due to domestic violence between 1st March and 31st May this year, as part of the work of the Maternal, Newborn and Infant Clinical Outcome Review Programme to identify lessons learned for care of pregnant and postpartum women in the context of ongoing SARS-CoV-2 transmission.
During the three months covered by this report over 160,000 women gave birth in the UK. Ten women died with SARS-CoV-2 infection, four women died by suicide and two due to domestic violence. The estimated SARS-CoV-2-associated maternal death rate, including all deaths of women with SARS-CoV-2 infection, is therefore around six per 100,000, maternal mortality due to suicide during or up to one year after pregnancy just over two per 100,000, and mortality due to homicide during or up to one year after pregnancy was one woman per 100,000 giving birth. The authors caution that maternal death rates are usually calculated over a period of three years, thus these figures do not reflect a statistically significant increase in the overall maternal mortality rate in the UK at this stage.
The majority of women who died from COVID-19 were from black or other minority ethnic groups and the authors emphasise that clinicians need to be aware of this increased risk and admit women early to ensure they receive the appropriate specialist care.
Specific information for pregnant women and the health professionals caring for them is available from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Royal College of Midwives guidance.
The report can be downloaded from the MBRRACE-UK Reports Page