BACKGROUND: In Morocco, there is little information on the circumstances surrounding maternal near misses. This study aimed to determine the incidence, characteristics, and determinants of maternal near misses in Morocco.
METHOD: A prospective case-control study was conducted at 3 referral maternity hospitals in the Marrakech region of Morocco between February and July 2012. Near-miss cases included severe hemorrhage, hypertensive disorders, and prolonged obstructed labor. Three unmatched controls were selected for each near-miss case. Three categories of risk factors (sociodemographics, reproductive history, and delays), as well as perinatal outcomes, were assessed, and bivariate and multivariate analyses of the determinants were performed. A sample of 30 near misses and 30 non-near misses was interviewed.
RESULTS: The incidence of near misses was 12‰ of births. Hypertensive disorders during pregnancy (45%) and severe hemorrhage (39%) were the most frequent direct causes of near miss. The main risk factors were illiteracy [OR = 2.35; 95% CI: (1.07-5.15)], lack of antenatal care [OR = 3.97; 95% CI: (1.42-11.09)], complications during pregnancy [OR = 2.81; 95% CI:(1.26-6.29)], and having experienced a first phase delay [OR = 8.71; 95% CI: (3.97-19.12)] and a first phase of third delay [OR = 4.03; 95% CI: (1.75-9.25)]. The main reasons for the first delay were lack of a family authority figure who could make a decision, lack of sufficient financial resources, lack of a vehicle, and fear of health facilities. The majority of near misses demonstrated a third delay with many referrals. The women's perceptions of the quality of their care highlighted the importance of information, good communication, and attitude.
CONCLUSION: Women and newborns with serious obstetric complications have a greater chance of successful outcomes if they are immediately directed to a functioning referral hospital and if the providers are responsive.