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Journal Articles International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia Year : 2019

Epidemiology of obstetric critical illness


Obstetric intensive care unit (ICU) admissions comprise only a small part of severe maternal morbidity. The incidence rate of both remains relatively unclear due to inconsistent definitions across publications, although this has begun to be addressed. There is a relative paucity of information regarding disease-specific survival following obstetric ICU admission, but outcomes are clearly related to the cause of admission and the quality of care. The ratio between maternal near-miss cases (many of whom are admitted to ICUs) and maternal death may provide insight into the preventability of death. Hemorrhage and pre-eclampsia constitute the leading causes of ICU admission and have relatively low mortality rates, perhaps demonstrating the impact of informed care in managing obstetric critical illness. Obstetric sepsis, heart disease and anesthesia complications should be the focus of future research. The incidence of obstetric sepsis has been increasing in the last decade, with mortality rates remaining relatively high. The incidence of obstetric heart disease is increasing and maternal complications have been attributed to fractionated care of mothers within this category. Anesthesia complications remain a predominant cause of maternal death and likely intensive care admission. Data are lacking regarding the relative proportion of cases per disease that remain treated outside the ICU; and the outcomes of various management strategies. The only study of the health status of survivors of obstetric ICU admission revealed that six months after hospital discharge, one in five women still had a poorer health-related quality of life than those of a reference age-and sex-matched cohort.
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Dates and versions

hal-02463200 , version 1 (20-04-2020)



S. Einav, M. Leone. Epidemiology of obstetric critical illness. International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia, 2019, 40, pp.128-139. ⟨10.1016/j.ijoa.2019.05.010⟩. ⟨hal-02463200⟩


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