Serena Josephine. M

PUDUCHERRY: Heart ailments are one of the primary causes for maternal deaths among deliveries occurring in big hospitals in Puducherry. It was important that pregnant mothers, who had pre-existing cardiac problems, take proper treatment from the beginning of the gestation period.

Among the several causes of maternal deaths, heart ailments, particularly valve defects, was the most common. The other causes of maternal deaths were amniotic fluid embolism, cerebral haemorrhage and jaundice, said Director of Health Dilip Kumar Baliga.

“Earlier, pregnant mothers used to die due to bleeding, rupture of the uterus and infections. Deaths due to such conditions have come down now with the availability of proper medical care. Large hospitals with proper facilities are combating these conditions. But there are still unavoidable causes such as heart ailments, amniotic fluid embolism and cerebral haemorrhage due to strain during pregnancy, which cause maternal deaths,” he stated.

Valve diseases in pregnant mothers became obvious during ante-natal check ups, he said, adding that the mothers were being advised to take proper treatment from the early stage of pregnancy.

Statistics available with the Directorate of Health and Family Welfare Services showed that there were a total of 30 maternal deaths in 2007-2008, 32 during 2008-2009 and 12 so far in 2009-2010 for the total deliveries registered across the Union Territory. The Union Territory had a total of 49,000 to 50,000 deliveries each year at the government hospitals, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research and private hospitals. However, majority of these were mothers from neighbouring districts of Tamil Nadu. “Therefore, there are only about 16,000 to 17,000 deliveries in Puducherry. On an average, there are four to five maternal deaths among mothers in Puducherry,” he stated.