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Table 2 The three-delay model

From: How do accountability problems lead to maternal health inequities? A review of qualitative literature from Indian public sector

A “three-delay model” developed by Thaddeus and Maine (1994) [49] is widely used to explore factors associated with maternal deaths. Management of obstetric complications is key to reducing maternal mortality where direct obstetric causes constitute majority of maternal deaths. The model is based on the fact that such deaths could be prevented through timely medical interventions. Focusing on the period between onset of obstetric complication and its outcome, it identifies “delay” as a pertinent factor contributing to maternal deaths: delay in decision-making to seek care as the first delay, delay to reach a health-care facility with appropriate care—the second delay, and delay in receiving adequate care—the third delay.