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) (P > 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.
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The authors would like to thank Miss F. Evans, Miss A. Govind and Miss B. Subba for allowing inclusion of data of women under their care. The authors would also like to acknowledge the help of Mr B. Brooks of the Jehovah’s Witness Hospital Liaison Committee of North London for his advice.
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