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Blunt Trauma in Pregnancy - Article
ABSTRACT: Trauma is the most common cause of nonobstetric death among pregnant women in the United States. Motor vehicle crashes, domestic violence, and falls are the most common causes of blunt trauma during pregnancy. All pregnant patients with traumatic injury should be assessed formally in a medical setting because placental abruption can have dire fetal consequences and can present with few or no symptoms. Evaluation and treatment are the same as for nonpregnant patients, except that the uterus should be shifted off the great vessels. After initial stabilization, management includes electronic fetal monitoring, ultrasonography, and laboratory studies. Electronic fetal monitoring currently is the most accurate measure of fetal status after trauma, although the optimal duration of monitoring has not been established. Prevention of trauma through proper seat belt use during pregnancy and recognition of domestic violence during prenatal care is important.
ABSTRACT: Unexpected adverse fetal and neonatal outcomes (e.g., stillbirth, birth trauma, congenital anomalies) present a crisis for the family and the medical care team. In cases of stillbirth, the family physician should be flexible in supporting the parents’ choices, validate the loss, and work as a team with the nursing staff. Psychosocial support includes offering counseling services, assessing women for postpartum depression and anxiety, and considering the effect of the loss on the entire family. Although infants with birth asphyxia or major anomalies may require transfer to facilities with a neonatal intensive care unit, the physician will usually provide ongoing care for the mother in the postpartum period. A comprehensive assessment can determine the etiology of fetal demise in most cases, which may guide future preconception and maternity care. Women with a previous adverse pregnancy outcome may have increased psychological stress in a subsequent pregnancy. Knowledge of community resources will facilitate care for the mother and her partner or family. Physicians may need to seek peer support to cope with their own feelings of loss.