Abuse during pregnancy ups mother's death risk

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], May 6 (ANI): A study has found that the women who are abused by their partners during their pregnancy are twice as likely to die from assault-related trauma than an accident-related trauma. The results suggested that the widespread screening for violence and trauma during pregnancy may provide an opportunity to identify women at risk for death during pregnancy. According to the researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, the trauma from assaults or accidents complicates 1 in 12 pregnancies and is the leading non-obstetric cause of death among pregnant women. The findings are scheduled to be presented at the American Congress of Obstetricians & Gynecologists' (ACOG) Annual Clinical and Scientific Meeting in San Diego. Lead author Neha Deshpande said that not only it is associated with complications for the baby, but also the management of traumatic injuries in pregnant patients has its unique challenges, given the physiologic changes of pregnancy and restrictions doctors may face when treating pregnant patients. Deshpande further explained that despite the severity of the issue, little is known about how trauma actually impacts pregnant women since accidental and incidental causes of death are excluded in many statewide and national maternal mortality reviews. The team focused on admissions from 2005 through 2015 and included nearly 45,000 cases of trauma among victims, who were defined as women of childbearing age (14-49). The results indicated that pregnant trauma victims, on average, suffered less severe injuries than their non-pregnant counterparts. However, despite less severe injuries, pregnant women were nearly twice as likely to be dead when they arrived at the hospital or die in the hospital. In particular, assault-related trauma was about three times deadlier than accident-related trauma. In addition, after suffering a violent assault, pregnant women were 4.4 times likelier to be transferred to another facility for obstetric services and support. The authors concluded that the findings point to an opportunity for intervention to safeguard pregnant women and recommend universal screening of pregnant women at obstetric clinics for assault and mental illness, similar to screenings for postpartum depression. (ANI)