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Spinal Cord Injury in Pregnancy 

Spinal Cord Injury in Pregnancy
Chapter:
Spinal Cord Injury in Pregnancy
Author(s):

Kathryn J. Drennan

and Maria Vanushkina

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190667351.003.0029
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date: 04 April 2020

Spinal cord injury is an uncommon complication of pregnancy. But women with spinal cord injuries should be counseled that successful pregnancy is possible. Pregnancies should be planned once the patient has reached optimal functional status. At the outset of pregnancy, complications should be planned for, and an overall functional and routine health maintenance assessment should be evaluated. Providers should pay particular attention to voiding and elimination management, prevention of urinary tract infection, respiratory complications, and autonomic dysreflexia. Urinary complications can be decreased by maintaining a low pressure voiding system as well as addressing urinary tract bacterial colonization. When autonomic dysreflexia is encountered, the source should be identified and eliminated. Proactive management of potential complications leads to successful pregnancies with neonatal outcomes indistinguishable from the general population. The management of acute spinal cord injury should emphasize maternal stabilization. If an acute spinal cord injury occurs in pregnancy, any steps needed to improve the outcome should be undertaken.

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