Original Article

Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 276, Issue 4, pp 339-343

Obstetric care of Jehovah’s Witnesses: a 14-year observational study

  • Nadine MassiahAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetric and Gynaecology, Stirling Royal Infirmary, Fourth Valley Hospitals
  • , Shobana AthimulamAffiliated withRoyal Free and University College Medical School
  • , Chin LooAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetric and Gynaecology, North Middlesex University Hospital
  • , Stanley OkoloAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetric and Gynaecology, North Middlesex University Hospital
  • , Wai YoongAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetric and Gynaecology, North Middlesex University Hospital Email author 

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Abstract

Over a 14-year period, the obstetric outcome of Jehovah’s Witnesses in an inner city hospital was reviewed and the effect of refusal of blood on morbidity and mortality evaluated. Ninety women had 116 deliveries and of these, 24% were delivered by caesarean section, 10% had instrumental deliveries and 66% were normal vaginal deliveries. Postpartum haemorrhage of >1,000 mls occurred in 6% and postpartum anaemia was the commonest complication. The mean postdelivery haemoglobin (11.10 ± 1.15 g/dl) was not significantly less from the mean predelivery haemoglobin level (11.81 ± 1.62 g/dl) (> 0.05, paired t test). The single maternal death occurred after caesarean hysterectomy, which when extrapolated, resulted in a 65-fold increased risk of maternal death compared to the national rate. The optimum management of pregnant women who decline transfusion is discussed.

Keywords

Jehovah’s Witnesses Obstetric haemorrhage Maternal mortality