Life-threatening Complications in Pregnancy in a Teaching Hospital in Kolkata, India

  • Snehamay Chaudhuri
  • Sumana Nath
Original Article



To test the application of a clinical definition of life-threatening complications in pregnancy and determine the level of near miss maternal morbidity and mortality.


A prospective observational study was conducted in the obstetrics and gynaecology department, NRS Medical College, Kolkata, India, to identify life-threatening complications using a modification of the Mantel’s criteria. The main outcome measures were validity of identification criteria, main causes and incidence of life-threatening complications in pregnancy, maternal near miss: case fatality rates, morbidity–mortality index and use rate of effective interventions.


In total, 177 maternal near miss and 23 maternal deaths were identified in the screened 4400 women. The incidence of near miss was 4.02%. Main causes of maternal mortality were hypertensive disorders (43%) and renal failure (21%). Main causes of near miss were hypertensive disorders (55%), ectopic pregnancy (19%). Near miss mortality index was 7.7:1.


A high proportion of women with life-threatening complications and all women who died were referred from peripheral hospitals. This signals that there may have been important failures in the referral system relating to maternal care and there is a need for further investigation.


Life-threatening complications Obstetric near miss Maternal mortality Severe maternal morbidity Severe acute maternal morbidity 



We are grateful to all women, the doctors, nurses, trainees and other staffs of our hospital without whose collaboration this study would not have been possible.

Author contribution

Dr. SC was involved in conception and design, analysis and interpretation of data, drafting the article, revising it critically for important intellectual content and final approval of the version to be published. Dr. SN took part in conception and design, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretation of data, drafting the article, revising it critically for important intellectual content and final approval of the version to be published.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

There was nothing to disclose regarding financial, personal, political, intellectual or religious interests. There is no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

The study was conducted after approval by Institutional Ethics Committee of NRS Medical College, and informed consent was obtained before enrolment.


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Copyright information

© Federation of Obstetric & Gynecological Societies of India 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyNRS Medical CollegeKolkataIndia
  2. 2.Obstetrics and GynecologyMidnapore Medical CollegeMidnaporeIndia
  3. 3.Bankura Samiilani Medical CollegeBankuraIndia
  4. 4.KolkataIndia

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