THERE were 10 maternal deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth nationally in 2012, including the death of Savita Halappanavar in Galway.
The toll is revealed in the newly-released annual report of the Coombe Hospital in Dublin which recorded two maternal deaths from natural causes in the year, one from sudden adult death syndrome and a second from amniotic fluid embolism.
A third death involved the suicide of a pregnant woman who was attending the hospital. No details are provided of the age of the women. The report, which was delayed, noted the "two immensely sad although rare events" which took place in the hospital.
"Such events are a stark reminder of the fragility of life and yet they also set us a challenge to continue to strive for better, safer healthcare for all," it added. The report said 8,419 mothers delivered 8,585 babies during the year. It pointed out that in the past few decades "our ability to predict and avert adverse obstetric outcome has increased greatly.
"Women with high-risk pregnancies can potentially benefit from increased care and should be identified early in pregnancy. Providing care to high-risk patients presents certain challenges. The identification of the patient at increased risk is fundamental, and ideally should occur preconceptually.
"A small number of patients are deemed to be best delivered on a general hospital site for the purpose of access to general or vascular surgery and interventional radiology and we are indebted to our gynaecological and anaesthetic colleagues at St James's Hospital for their involvement in the care of these women," the report found.
It noted the turnover in midwifery and nursing doubled in 2012 to 5pc from the previous year's rate of 2.5pc.