Written Answers. - Maternity Services.

Bernard Allen

Question:

604 Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children the plans he has to introduce a standardised audit of severe maternal morbidity in maternity hospitals and units. [20148/00]

Currently, clinical audit is widely carried out in Irish maternity hospitals and units which have been to the forefront of international practice in this area. However, no standardised internationally accepted protocol exists for defining severe maternal morbidity and different hospitals would have a variety of criteria for describing this phenomonon.

It is hoped that in the coming years consensus will emerge internationally on this issue. When such a definition is accepted internationally, standardising an audit of severe maternal morbidity is a practise that should be encouraged.