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  1. 1
    Peer Reviewed

    Validating the WHO maternal near miss tool: comparing high- and low-resource settings.

    Witteveen T; Bezstarosti H; de Koning I; Nelissen E; Bloemenkamp KW; van Roosmalen J; van den Akker T

    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2017 Jun 19; 17(1):194.

    BACKGROUND: WHO proposed the WHO Maternal Near Miss (MNM) tool, classifying women according to several (potentially) life-threatening conditions, to monitor and improve quality of obstetric care. The objective of this study is to analyse merged data of one high- and two low-resource settings where this tool was applied and test whether the tool may be suitable for comparing severe maternal outcome (SMO) between these settings. METHODS: Using three cohort studies that included SMO cases, during two-year time frames in the Netherlands, Tanzania and Malawi we reassessed all SMO cases (as defined by the original studies) with the WHO MNM tool (five disease-, four intervention- and seven organ dysfunction-based criteria). Main outcome measures were prevalence of MNM criteria and case fatality rates (CFR). RESULTS: A total of 3172 women were studied; 2538 (80.0%) from the Netherlands, 248 (7.8%) from Tanzania and 386 (12.2%) from Malawi. Total SMO detection was 2767 (87.2%) for disease-based criteria, 2504 (78.9%) for intervention-based criteria and 1211 (38.2%) for organ dysfunction-based criteria. Including every woman who received >/=1 unit of blood in low-resource settings as life-threatening, as defined by organ dysfunction criteria, led to more equally distributed populations. In one third of all Dutch and Malawian maternal death cases, organ dysfunction criteria could not be identified from medical records. CONCLUSIONS: Applying solely organ dysfunction-based criteria may lead to underreporting of SMO. Therefore, a tool based on defining MNM only upon establishing organ failure is of limited use for comparing settings with varying resources. In low-resource settings, lowering the threshold of transfused units of blood leads to a higher detection rate of MNM. We recommend refined disease-based criteria, accompanied by a limited set of intervention- and organ dysfunction-based criteria to set a measure of severity.
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  2. 2
    Peer Reviewed

    Infant growth and health outcomes associated with 3 compared with 6 mo of exclusive breastfeeding.

    Kramer MS; Guo T; Platt RW; Sevkovskaya Z; Dzikovich I

    American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2003 Aug; 78(2):291-295.

    Background: Opinions and recommendations about the optimal duration of exclusive breastfeeding have been strongly divided, but few published studies have provided direct evidence on the relative risks and benefits of different breastfeeding durations in recipient infants. Objective: We examined the effects on infant growth and health of 3 compared with 6 mo of exclusive breastfeeding. Design: We conducted an observational cohort study nested within a large randomized trial in Belarus by comparing 2862 infants exclusively breastfed for 3 mo (with continued mixed breastfeeding through = 6 mo) with 621 infants who were exclusively breastfed for = 6 mo. Regression to the mean, within-cluster correlation, and cluster- and individual-level confounding variables were accounted for by using multilevel regression analyses. Results: From 3 to 6 mo, weight gain was slightly greater in the 3-mo group [difference: 29 g/mo (95% CI: 13, 45 g/mo)], as was length gain [difference: 1.1 mm (0.5, 1.6 mm)], but the 6-mo group had a faster length gain from 9 to 12 mo [difference: 0.9 mm/mo (0.3, 1.5 mm/mo)] and a larger head circumference at 12 mo [difference: 0.19 cm (0.07, 0.31 cm)]. A significant reduction in the incidence density of gastrointestinal infection was observed during the period from 3 to 6 mo in the 6-mo group [adjusted incidence density ratio: 0.35 (0.13, 0.96)], but no significant differences in risk of respiratory infectious outcomes or atopic eczema were apparent. Conclusions: Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 mo is associated with a lower risk of gastrointestinal infection and no demonstrable adverse health effects in the first year of life. (author's)
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  3. 3
    Peer Reviewed

    Estimating the rate of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Report of a workshop on methodological issues, Ghent (Belgium), 17-20 February 1992.

    Dabis F; Msellati P; Dunn D; Lepage P; Newell ML; Peckham C; Van de Perre P

    AIDS. 1993 Aug; 7(8):1139-48.

    A meeting was held in 1992 in Ghent, Belgium, under the auspices of the European Economic Community AIDS Task Force in collaboration with the WHO Global program on AIDS and UNICEF. THe objective were: 1) to address methodological issues in the estimation of the rate of mother-to-child (MTCT) transmission of HIV-1, with special reference to developing countries, and 2) to present a critical evaluation of selected perinatal studies using a standardized methodological approach. The discussions and recommendations made during the workshop are summarized. In the previous 8 years, numerous studies had been conducted to estimate the rate of MTCT of HIV. Many of these had encountered problems in data collection and analysis, making it difficult to compare transmission rates between studies. 14 teams of investigators participated, representing studies from central (5) and eastern Africa (3), Europe (2), Haiti (1), and the US (3). A critical evaluation of the projects was carried out under 4 headings: 1) enrollment and follow-up procedures, 2) diagnostic criteria and case definitions, 3) measurement and comparison of MTCT rats, and 4) determinants of transmission. The different estimations of the rate of HIV MTCT reported ranged from 13-32% in industrialized countries and from 26-48% in developing countries. For the purpose of calculating the rate of HIV MTCT, it is important to establish whether a child who dies before 15 months is HIV-infected. 3 definitions were proposed for children who died before their infection status could be determined by serology. Factors identified as possible risk factors for HIV MTCT included impaired maternal clinical and immunological status, HIV-seroconversion during pregnancy, shortened duration of pregnancy, choriamnionitis, vaginal delivery, prolonged and/or complicated labor, and breast-feeding. Maternal age and parity did not appear to be associated with MTCT in most studies.
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