Reducing maternal deaths from hypertensive disorders: learning from confidential inquiries

Confidential inquiries into maternal deaths in the UK were established in 1952 and have aimed to report on every pregnancy related death since then. Maternal deaths from hypertensive disorders of pregnancy have reduced dramatically in the UK over the past 60 years. Incremental improvement in clinical management and organisation of care through recommendations made in the confidential inquiry reports and publication of national guidelines are likely to have driven much of this decline in recent decades.

To tackle global maternal mortality related to hypertensive disorders, setting up a confidential inquiry is an important first step for many countries. Almost complete eradication of maternal mortality related to hypertensive disorders of pregnancy seems possible.