Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989
RODRIGUEZ VILLAMIZAR, Laura Andrea; RUIZ-RODRIGUEZ, Myriam and JAIME GARCIA, María Leonor. Benefits of combining methods to analyze the causes of maternal mortality, Bucaramanga, Colômbia. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2011, vol.29, n.4, pp.213-219. ISSN 1680-5348. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892011000400001.
OBJECTIVE: Define critical points of change in the maternal care process, guide decision-making in this area, and support the strengthening of service delivery policies, with a view to achieving the Millennium Development Goal of improving maternal health. METHODS: Retrospective descriptive study of a series of cases of maternal deaths recorded in Bucaramanga between 2004 and 2009. The study examined epidemiologic reporting cards, clinical histories, field visits, and the records of analysis committees. The road to survival (analysis of delays) and detection of critical links in care were used as the methods of analysis. The information obtained was triangulated. RESULTS: The 10 maternal deaths occurred in an urban area, and the women had received medical care from professionals at a health facility. The four types of delays-in recognizing the problem, in the timeliness of decisions and actions, in care/the logistics of referral, and in the quality of care-occurred with similar frequency in the 10 cases studied. The critical links in the prevention of maternal deaths were those related to deficiencies in the vertical and horizontal integration of the care process and the quality of care. CONCLUSIONS: Combining analysis methods made it possible to identify the deficiencies in care most related to maternal deaths. However, their use should be accompanied by other methods that make it possible to identify determinants that go beyond the context of service delivery. One documented lesson learned is the importance of the continuity and monitoring of interventions as a success factor in reducing maternal mortality.
Keywords : Maternal mortality; maternal health; maternal welfare; health services; Colombia.