Released on: 25 August 2020
In response to a rapid review from MBRRACE-UK about recent maternal deaths and actions needed to improve management of COVID-19, Sarah McMullen, Director of Impact and Engagement, NCT, said:
"We welcome this rapid review from MBRRACE-UK, which reveals important information about recent maternal deaths and identifies urgent actions needed to improve management of COVID-19 in pregnancy and postnatally. The review covers deaths of all women who died with the virus between March-May 2020. It also includes deaths of women who died from mental health-related causes or domestic violence, which might have been influenced by public health measures introduced to control the epidemic such as lockdown.
"This review, as well as MBRRACE-UK’s May report on COVID during pregnancy, showed significant inequality of outcome. Seven of the eight women (88%) who died of COVID-19 during the period under review were from black and minority ethnic groups. It is completely unacceptable that the risk of maternal death is much greater for black and Asian women and women of mixed ethnicity.
"The work undertaken by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in collaboration with other royal colleges to develop and update guidance for women and health professionals (which we’re building into our own content) has been invaluable. We urge health providers to follow through on the latest actions proposed. It is crucial that this learning is implemented before any local or second waves of COVID emerge, so that all women get the best possible care."