Mechanical ventilation in an obstetric population: characteristics and delivery rates

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2003 Feb;188(2):549-52. doi: 10.1067/mob.2003.68.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe the characteristics and outcomes of obstetric patients who require mechanical ventilation.

Study design: A review was conducted of obstetric patients who required mechanical ventilation and who received care at our institutions between 1990 and 1998. Data that were collected included maternal demographics, medical condition that necessitated ventilation, delivery status, duration of ventilation, onset of parturition while receiving ventilation, mode of delivery, and maternal and early neonatal morbidity or death.

Results: Fifty-one women were identified; 43 women(84%) received care in the labor and delivery setting. The most common admission diagnoses were preeclampsia/eclampsia (44%), labor/preterm labor (14%), and pneumonia (12%). Forty-three women (86%) were undelivered on admission (mean gestational age, 31.6 weeks). Delivery occurred in 37 women (86%) during their admission; 24 women (65%) underwent cesarean delivery. Eleven women began labor while receiving ventilation; 6 were delivered vaginally. The maternal mortality rate was 14% (7/51 women), and the perinatal mortality rate was 11% (4/37 fetuses).

Conclusion: A large number of obstetric patients who receive mechanical ventilation will require delivery because of their condition. Centers that care for such women should form a treatment strategy to coordinate obstetric and medical care for this unique population

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cesarean Section
  • Critical Care
  • Delivery, Obstetric* / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant Mortality
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Labor, Obstetric*
  • Maternal Mortality
  • Obstetrics
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy
  • Respiration, Artificial*
  • Retrospective Studies