Definition: death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days after the termination of gestation, irrespective of the duration and site of pregnancy and the cause of death; two periods are recognized in the 42-day interval: period one includes day 1–day 7; period two includes day 8– day 42. Maternal deaths are further classified as: direct maternal death, death resulting from obstetric complications of the gestation, labor, or puerperium, and from interventions, omissions, incorrect treatment, or a chain of events caused by any of the above; indirect maternal death, an obstetric death resulting from previously existing disease or from disease developing during pregnancy, labor, or the puerperium; it is not directly due to obstetric causes, but to conditions aggravated by the physiologic effects of pregnancy.
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