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Obstetrical / Reproductive

Below are detailed descriptions of reportable adverse events, grouped by state or federal agency. Answer the question that appears beneath EACH description. When you're finished, click View Reporting Instructions to move to the next page.

Department of Public Health

Serious Reportable Event

Any of the following must be reported as an SRE:

  • Maternal death or serious injury associated with labor or delivery in a low-risk pregnancy while being cared for in a health care setting, or
  • Death or serious injury of a neonate associated with labor or delivery in a low-risk pregnancy, or
  • Artificial insemination with the wrong donor sperm or wrong egg.

DPH offers the following additional guidance:

  • Maternal death or serious injury: Includes events that occur within 42 days post-delivery; does not include death from pulmonary or amniotic fluid embolism, acute fatty liver of pregnancy or cardiomyopathy.
  • Death or serious injury of a neonate: Includes unplanned admission to an inpatient setting within 24 hours of delivery.

In this context, a "low-risk pregnancy" refers to a woman aged 18-39 with no diagnosis of essential hypertension, renal disease, collagen-vascular disease, liver disease, pre-eclampsia, cardiovascular disease, placenta previa, multiple gestation, intrauterine growth restriction, smoking, pregnancy-induced hypertension, premature rupture of membranes, or other previously documented condition that poses a high risk of poor pregnancy outcome.

You are required to report an SRE that occurred at another hospital or ambulatory surgery center if you provided services that resulted from the event. You do not have to report the SRE if you have reason to believe the other facility has already reported it to DPH.

Reference: M.G.L. c. 111, § 51H, 105 CMR §§ 130.332, 140.308; DPH, 2012 SRE Reporting Guidance; Circular Letter #12-9-570

Does your event fit this description?

The Serious Incident section will become available only if “No” or “Unsure” is selected. Otherwise, by selecting ‘yes’ you will be given directions for reporting an SRE that may also be a serious incident.

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Serious Incident

DPH requires you to report any incident that seriously affected the health and safety of a patient or that caused serious physical injury to the patient.

DPH uses the term “serious incident” to cover several broad categories of reportable events. In addition to the above, it also includes any of the following:

  • A patient death that is
    • Unanticipated
    • Unrelated to the natural course of the patient’s illness or underlying condition, or
    • The result of an error
  • Full or partial evacuation of the facility for any reason
  • Fire
  • Suicide
  • A serious criminal act
  • Pending or actual strike action by its employees, and contingency plans for operation of the facility
  • A surgery or anesthesia-related complication that result in serious morbidity or death of a patient
  • These events are reportable if they occurred on premises covered by your facility's license.

Reference: 105 CMR § 140.307. (Note that DPH has the regulatory authority to add to this list of serious incidents through guidance.)

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Quality and Patient Safety Division, Board of Registration in Medicine

Major Incident

QPSD requires you to report any of the following as a major incident:

  • Type 1: Maternal death related to delivery.
  • Type 2: Death in the course of, or resulting from, elective ambulatory procedures.
  • Type 3: Any invasive diagnostic procedure or surgical intervention performed on the wrong organ, extremity or body part.
  • Type 4: Any major or permanent impairment of bodily functions or death of a patient not ordinarily expected as a result of the patient's condition on presentation.

Note that it is expected that all events reported to the Department of Public Health as SREs will also be reported to QPSD as major incidents. In addition, QPSD encourages facilities to identify, analyze and report “near miss” incidents.

Major incidents types 1 – 3 are specific outcomes that should be reported to QPSD without regard to the underlying circumstances.

QPSD defines major impairment as a significant change in the patient’s functional status either physically or mentally.

Reference: 243 CMR § 3.08(2)

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