What is it about?

Pregnancy and childbirth can have complications. Hospitals around the world face this challenge. But these complications can be prevented. Experts know what causes these complications and which interventions improve patient outcomes. However, there is little data on how the correct use of interventions can improve healthcare. This report talks about how hospitals in Saudi Arabia made childbirth safer. They wanted to lower the number of mothers dying during childbirth, called the maternal mortality rate (MMR). They focused on five hospitals and used specific interventions to achieve this, including making sure all problems mothers faced were reported properly.

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Why is it important?

The Ministry of Defense Health Services (MODHS) of Saudi Arabia found a high MMR of 10.5 per 100,000 births in 2018. This was due to frequent complications during pregnancy and childbirth, and the large number of births. The rate of reporting complications during pregnancy and childbirth in the hospitals was 7.8 per 10,000 deliveries. This was far lower than standards in the West. The MODHS also found that under-reporting complications were due to the subpar safety culture in its hospitals. When the MODHS implemented the specific interventions, the MMR improved to 4.6 per 100,000 births in 2020. Furthermore, the reporting of complications during pregnancy and childbirth increased by a multiple of 32. KEY TAKEAWAY: Healthcare during pregnancy and childbirth can be improved by using specific interventions. These interventions should focus on reducing deaths and the accurate reporting of complications. This will improve outcomes for patients in Saudi Arabia or indeed any setting where maternal mortality is high and the reporting of complications is low. This research relates to the following Sustainable Development Goals: • SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being • SDG 5: Gender Equality • SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities • SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions • SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Collaborative improvement project to decrease maternal mortality rate across five hospitals in Saudi Arabia, BMJ Open Quality, November 2022, BMJ,
DOI: 10.1136/bmjoq-2022-002024.
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