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A snapshot of maternal deaths from 2008-2017 has been released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Over the 10 year period there were 248 women reported to have died during pregnancy or within 42 days of the end of pregnancy.

While maternal death in Australia is rare, the most frequent causes reported in Australia between 2008 and 2017 of maternal death were complications of pre-existing cardiovascular disease and non-obstetric haemorrhage (mostly haemorrhage within the brain and haemorrhage from a ruptured aneurysm of the splenic artery).

The most frequent causes of direct maternal death between 2008 and 2017 were thromboembolism, obstetric haemorrhage and amniotic fluid embolism.

There were 51 coincidental deaths in Australia from 2008–2017. The most common causes of these deaths were motor vehicle trauma and cancer.

The report also showed that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women had a higher incidence of maternal death than non-Indigenous women.