Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 276, Issue 4, pp 339–343 | Cite as

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

  • Nadine Massiah
  • Shobana Athimulam
  • Chin Loo
  • Stanley Okolo
  • Wai YoongEmail author
Original Article


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.


Jehovah’s Witnesses Obstetric haemorrhage Maternal mortality 



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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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nadine Massiah
    • 1
  • Shobana Athimulam
    • 2
  • Chin Loo
    • 3
  • Stanley Okolo
    • 3
  • Wai Yoong
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Obstetric and GynaecologyStirling Royal Infirmary, Fourth Valley HospitalsStirlingScotland
  2. 2.Royal Free and University College Medical SchoolLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of Obstetric and GynaecologyNorth Middlesex University HospitalLondonUK

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