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All maternal deaths and serious harm must be reported within 28 days to the Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Consultative Council (CCOPMM).

What do you have to report?

All maternal deaths

  • The death of woman during pregnancy or childbirth.
  • The death of a woman within 42 days of the termination of the pregnancy irrespective of the cause of death.
  • The death of a woman within one year of the birth or termination of the pregnancy when the death is from direct or indirect causes.

Severe acute maternal morbidity (SAMM)

  • Women who were pregnant or had given birth in the past 42 days, who were admitted to an adult intensive care unit. 
  • Women who nearly died but survived a complication that occurred during pregnancy, childbirth or within 42 days of birth or termination of pregnancy.

1. Notify us

Download the right form:

Submit it to us within 28 days.

Make sure the file is password protected. If you are not sure how to password protect a document please contact us.

2. CCOPMM case review

Once all the information is in, CCOPMM reviews complex or contentious cases to determine:

  • if the harm or death was avoidable
  • any contributing factors, including potential deficiencies in clinical care or system-wide faults
  • (if death) classification 
  • any recommendations for improvement
  • preventable factors, for example smoking in pregnancy, maternal age, family violence, and other social and demographic factors.

Maternal deaths are generally classified in one of three principal categories:

  • Direct maternal death: The death is considered to be due to a complication of the pregnancy itself, for example, haemorrhage from placenta praevia.
  • Indirect maternal death: The death is considered to be due to a pre-existing condition aggravated by the physiological changes of pregnancy, for example, heart disease or diabetes.
  • Incidental death: The death is considered unrelated to pregnancy, for example, a motor vehicle accident.

What do we use this information for?

We report annually to share the lessons and improvements from perinatal and child deaths in Victoria.

Why do we collect information on SAMM?

SAMM is an important safety and quality indicator for maternity care. SAMM cases are more common than maternal deaths. 

By investigating these cases, CCOPMM can significantly improve how poor care or system factors are identified.

Accessing data

The VAHI Data Request Hub is a simple way to request Victorian health data.

Your information is confidential

The confidentiality of information provided to CCOPMM is strictly protected under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008. CCOPMM members cannot share any documents or information to a third party.

Page last updated: 18 Nov 2020

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