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  • Writer's pictureThe Communiqués

Future Leaders Communiqué Volume 4 Issue 4 October 2019

  • Guest Editorial

  • Editorial

  • Case: Rare But Catastrophic

  • Other Than Occam’s Razor

  • Splenic Artery Aneurysm Rupture in Pregnancy

  • Further Reading

  • Comments From Our Peers

Welcome to the October 2019 edition of the new-look Future Leaders Communiqué. This edition will explore the theme of ‘diagnostic errors’, that is, where a diagnosis is missed, inappropriately delayed, or wrong [1], particularly in an obstetric patient.

While not all doctors work in a maternity setting, a pregnant patient may require care from different types of doctors, working in fields such as surgery, medicine, psychiatry, anaesthetics and general practice. There is crossover and overlap between obstetrics and the other clinical specialties. Specifically, the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine in their Quality Standards guideline states that care should consider the special requirements of maternity patients, with respect to environment, equipment and access to consultation [2].

This is important given the number of women who become mothers each year. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report 310,247 women gave birth in Australia in 2016, an increase of 12% since 2006 (277,440 women). The rate of women giving birth was 62 per 1,000 women of reproductive age, defined as age between 15-44 years [3].

This is the first edition of the Future Leaders Communiqué to discuss an obstetric case of maternal death. We are fortunate in Australia to have a very safe system for obstetrics with a very low rate of 8.5 deaths per 100,000 women giving birth [4]. While the figure at a population level is low, it is devastating for the patients who comprise the 281 maternal deaths and their families. The most common cause of maternal mortality in Australia has been non-obstetric haemorrhage.


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