Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 274, Issue 1, pp 4–8 | Cite as

Obstetric admissions to the intensive care unit: a 12-year review

  • Suleiman A. Al-Suleiman
  • Hatem O. Qutub
  • Jessica RahmanEmail author
  • M. Sayedur Rahman
Original Article



The objective was to ascertain the prevalence, causes and outcome of critically ill obstetric patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU).


The design was a retrospective collection of data.


The setting was a multidisciplinary ICU in a University hospital.


All obstetric patients admitted to the ICU over a 12-year period from May 1992 to April 2004 were reviewed.


The incidence of obstetric admissions to the ICU represented 0.22% of all deliveries during the study period. The majority (84.4%) of patients were admitted to the ICU postpartum. Obstetric haemorrhage (32.8%) and pregnancy-induced hypertension (17.2%) were the two main obstetrical reasons for admission. The remainder included medical disorders (37.5%) and other causes (6.2%). Associated major complications included adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and HELLP (haemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelets) syndrome. The perinatal mortality rate was 20% and the maternal mortality rate 9.4%.


A team approach consisting treatment by obstetricians, intensive care specialists and anaesthesiologists provided optimal care for the patients. Improved management strategies for obstetric haemorrhage and hypertension may significantly reduce maternal morbidity.


Intensive care Pregnancy complications Critically ill patients Medical complications Maternal death 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suleiman A. Al-Suleiman
    • 1
  • Hatem O. Qutub
    • 2
  • Jessica Rahman
    • 1
    • 3
    • 3
    Email author
  • M. Sayedur Rahman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of MedicineKing Faisal UniversityDammamSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Medical Intensive Care Unit, College of MedicineKing Faisal UniversityDammamSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.King Fahad HospitalDammamSaudi Arabia

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