Severe Maternal Morbidity Audit

NPEC National Audit of Severe Maternal Morbidity

Severe maternal morbidity has become an important quality indicator of obstetric care and maternal welfare in developed countries over the last decade. Historically, maternal mortality was used as a measure of quality of care in maternity services, but fortunately, it is now very low in high-resourced countries and is not sufficient to be used alone as a quality indicator.

The term maternal morbidity encompasses the range of chronic and acute conditions which may result in obstetric complications during labour, delivery and the puerperium. However, there is an absence of international consensus on definitions of severe maternal morbidity, which impedes comparative analysis between similarly resourced countries.

In collaboration with the multidisciplinary specialist NPEC Maternal Morbidity Group, the NPEC has collected and analysed anonymised maternal morbidity data from Irish maternity units since 2011. The NPEC also conducts detailed assessments of pertinent morbidities and morbidity-related topics such as critical care in obstetrics and major obstetric haemorrhage. The purpose of the audit is to provide baseline evidence for reflective practice and action planning by public maternity health care providers, public health professionals and policy makers in Ireland.

The NPEC employs the Severe Maternal Morbidity Notification Form to collect its data. It can be completed electronically through the NPEC online database ( 



Maternal Morbidity Notification Form 2018

2018 NPEC PE audit



NPEC Severe Maternal Morbidity Annual Report 2017

Severe Maternal Morbidity in Ireland Annual Report 2016

Severe Maternal Morbidity in Ireland Annual Report 2016 Lay Summary

Severe Maternal Morbidity Report 2015 

Severe Maternal Morbidity Report 2014

Severe Maternal Morbidity in Ireland Annual Report 2012 and 2013

Severe Maternal Morbidity Report 2011

National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre

Anu Research Centre, Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 5th Floor, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork