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Maternal critical care 

Maternal critical care
Maternal critical care

Rupert Gauntlett

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date: 25 February 2021

Critical illness during pregnancy or after giving birth is rare: in the United Kingdom 0.29% of maternities involve admission to a critical care unit, and the maternal death rate is 0.01%. Over 80% of obstetric admissions to critical care occur in the post-partum phase, mainly due to complications relating to massive haemorrhage. Other pregnancy specific conditions that may require critical care support include pre-eclampsia (typically when diagnosis and treatment have been delayed), amniotic fluid embolism, peri-partum cardiomyopathy, and acute fatty liver of pregnancy. Puerperal sepsis remains a major problem in resource-poor parts of the world. Pregnant women who survive critical illness may be particularly prone to long-term psychological morbidity. It is vital that, once physiological stability has been achieved, no time is wasted before a mother is reunited with her baby.

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