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Outcomes of severe pre-eclampsia/eclampsia in Yorkshire 1999/2003

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To establish the risk of serious complications from severe pre-eclampsia and eclampsia in a region using a common guideline for the management of these conditions. Design 

A five-year prospective study. Setting 

Sixteen maternity units in Yorkshire. Population 

All women managed with severe pre-eclampsia and eclampsia. Methods 

A common guideline was developed for the management of women with these conditions. A network of midwives prospectively collected outcome data. Main outcome measure 

Incidence of the conditions and serious complication rates. Results 

A total of 210,631 women delivered in the 16 units between 1 January 1999 and 31 December 2003. One thousand eighty-seven women were diagnosed with severe pre-eclampsia or eclampsia (5.2/1000). One hundred and fifty-one women had serious complications including 82 women (39/10,000) having eclamptic seizures and 49 women (23/10,000) requiring ICU admission. There were no maternal deaths but 54 out of 1145 babies died before discharge, giving a mortality rate of 47.2/1000. Of the 82 cases of eclampsia, 45 occurred antenatally (55%), 18 before admission to the maternity unit. Eleven cases occurred in labour (13%), including 1 during a caesarean section, and 26 cases occurred following delivery (32%). Twenty-five women developed pulmonary oedema (2.3% of cases) and six women required renal dialysis (0.55% of cases). One hundred and sixty-five (15%) required no antihypertensive therapy and 489 (53%) of the remainder required only oral therapy. Two hundred and one (18.5%) required more than one drug. Conclusion 

A regional guideline for severe pre-eclampsia and eclampsia can be developed and implemented. Its use may contribute to a low rate of serious complications.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Bradford, UK 2: Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals, UK 3: Leeds Teaching Hospitals, Leeds, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2005

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