Module 3 :
Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths

Authors: Todd Callhoun MD FRCPC and Sharon Davies MD FRCPC

Module Instructions:

  • This module presents a series of pages. To access each page, click NEXT to go forward, or BACK to view the previous page.
  • The module will open in a new browser window. This allows you to easily return to this page if you want to go to the Discussion Board or if you need to review these instructions.
  • Review each page of this module before taking the Examination at the end.
  • Please give us your feedback! After you have finished the Examination, please complete a CME Course Evaluation and let us know what you think about this module. You will be invited to do so after completing the Examination.
  • You are also strongly encouraged to participate in the Discussion Board for Module 3. There you will be able to ask any questions you may have and read the answers to questions that others have asked. You may visit this Discussion Board now, or after you have completed your Examination.

Goals and Objectives of Module 3:

This module is a review of the Confidential Inquiries into Maternal Deaths in the United Kingdom.

You will be asked to read various texts and review three specific cases, as well as additional readings.


Following completion of this learning module, the participant should be able to:

  1. Summarize the key findings and recommendations made in the fifth report of the Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Death (CEMD) in the UK 1997-1999.
  2. Recite the most common causes of maternal deaths.
  3. Discuss the 3 case reports of maternal death related to anaesthesia.
  4. Explain the specific patient safety recommendations pertaining to anesthesia.


The authors wish to thank the Department of Health, U.K for allowing the case histories of the three anesthesia-related deaths to be reproduced verbatim.

IMPORTANT: Before beginning the module, please complete the pretest. The intent is to help you assess your baseline knowledge of the topic before working through the module.

Click here to open Module 3 Pre Test>

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A note about printing pages: If you wish to print any pages from this course module, some printers may cut off the text on the right-hand side. To avoid this, we suggest you either print in Landscape mode (page is sideways), OR scale to the page size. These options are usually available in the print popup window or in your printer's settings.


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