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Obstet Gynecol. 1999 Aug;94(2):263-6.

Obstetric admissions to the intensive care unit.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Royal Victoria General Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.



To determine whether obstetric admissions to the intensive care unit (ICU) are useful quality-assurance indicators.


We analyzed retrospectively obstetric ICU admissions at two tertiary care centers from 1991 to 1997.


The 131 obstetric admissions represented 0.3% of all deliveries. The majority (78%) of women were admitted to the ICU postpartum. Obstetric hemorrhage (26%) and hypertension (21%) were the two most common reasons for admission. Together with cardiac disease, respiratory disorders, and infection, they accounted for more than 80% of all admissions. Preexisting medical conditions were present in 38% of all admissions. The median Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score was 8.5. The predicted mortality rate for the group was 10.0%, and the actual mortality rate was 2.3%.


The most common precipitants of ICU admission were obstetric hemorrhage and uncontrolled hypertension. Improved management strategies for these problems may significantly reduce major maternal morbidity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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