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J Trauma. 2010 Jul;69(1):211-4. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e3181dbe1ea.

Practice management guidelines for the diagnosis and management of injury in the pregnant patient: the EAST Practice Management Guidelines Work Group.

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Department of Surgery, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA.


Trauma during pregnancy has presented very unique challenges over the centuries. From the first report of Ambrose Pare of a gunshot wound to the uterus in the 1600s to the present, there have existed controversies and inconsistencies in diagnosis, management, prognostics, and outcome. Anxiety is heightened by the addition of another, smaller patient. Trauma affects 7% of all pregnancies and requires admission in 4 of 1000 pregnancies. The incidence increases with advancing gestational age. Just over half of trauma during pregnancy occurs in the third trimester. Motor vehicle crashes comprise 50% of these traumas, and falls and assaults account for 22% each. These data were considered to be underestimates because many injured pregnant patients are not seen at trauma centers. Trauma during pregnancy is the leading cause of nonobstetric death and has an overall 6% to 7% maternal mortality. Fetal mortality has been quoted as high as 61% in major trauma and 80% if maternal shock is present. The anatomy and physiology of pregnancy make diagnosis and treatment difficult.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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