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Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Dec;52(4):611-29. doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e3181c11edf.

Trauma in pregnancy.

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Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


In the United States, trauma is the leading nonobstetric cause of maternal death. The principal causes of trauma in pregnancy include motor vehicle accidents, falls, assaults, homicides, domestic violence, and penetrating wounds. The managing team evaluating and coordinating the care of the pregnant trauma patient should be multidisciplinary so that it is able to understand the physiologic changes in pregnancy. Blunt trauma to the abdomen increases the risk of placental abruption. Evaluation of the pregnant trauma patient requires a primary and secondary survey with emphasis on airway, breathing, circulation, and disability. The use of imaging studies, invasive hemodynamics, critical care medications, and surgery, if necessary, should be individualized and guided by a coordinating team effort to improve maternal and fetal conditions. A clear understanding of gestational age and fetal viability should be documented in the record.

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