To describe the staffing and availability of medical equipment and medications and the performance of procedures at health facilities providing maternal and neonatal care at African, Asian, and Latin American sites participating in a multicenter trial to improve emergency obstetric/neonatal care in communities with high maternal and perinatal mortality.
In 2009, prior to intervention, we surveyed 136 hospitals and 228 clinics in 7 sites in Africa, Asia, and Latin America regarding staffing, availability of equipment/ medications, and procedures including cesarean section.
The coverage of physicians and nurses/midwives was poor in Africa and Latin America. In Africa, only 20% of hospitals had full-time physicians. Only 70% of hospitals in Africa and Asia had performed cesarean sections in the last 6 months. Oxygen was unavailable in 40% of African hospitals and 17% of Asian hospitals. Blood was unavailable in 80% of African and Asian hospitals.
Assuming that adequate facility services are necessary to improve pregnancy outcomes, it is not surprising that maternal and perinatal mortality rates in the areas surveyed are high. The data presented emphasize that to reduce mortality in these areas, resources that result in improved staffing and sufficient equipment, supplies, and medication, along with training, are required.
emergency obstetric and neonatal care; developing countries; perinatal mortality
To implement a vital statistics registry system to register pregnant women and document birth outcomes in the Global Network for Women’s and Children’s Health Research sites in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
The Global Network sites began a prospective population-based pregnancy registry to identify all pregnant women and record pregnancy outcomes up to 42 days post-delivery in more than 100 defined low-resource geographic areas (clusters). Pregnant women were registered during pregnancy, with 42-day maternal and neonatal follow-up recorded—including care received during the pregnancy and postpartum periods. Recorded outcomes included stillbirth, neonatal mortality, and maternal mortality rates.
In 2010, 72 848 pregnant women were enrolled and 6-week follow-up was obtained for 97.8%. Across sites, 40.7%, 24.8%, and 34.5% of births occurred in a hospital, health center, and home setting, respectively. The mean neonatal mortality rate was 23 per 1000 live births, ranging from 8.2 to 48.5 per 1000 live births. The mean stillbirth rate ranged from 13.7 to 54.4 per 1000 births.
The registry is an ongoing study to assess the impact of interventions and trends regarding pregnancy outcomes and measures of care to inform public health.
Maternal mortality; Neonatal mortality; Perinatal mortality; Pregnancy; Registry; Stillbirth
Argentina and Uruguay are among the countries with the highest proportion of pregnant women who smoke. The implementation of an effective smoking cessation intervention would have a significant impact on the health of mothers and infants. The “5 A’s” (Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, Arrange) is a strategy consisting of a brief cessation counseling session of 5–15 minutes delivered by a trained provider. The “5 A’s” is considered the standard of care worldwide; however, it is under used in Argentina and Uruguay.
We will conduct a two-arm, parallel cluster randomized controlled trial of an implementation intervention in 20 prenatal care settings in Argentina and Uruguay. Prenatal care settings will be randomly allocated to either an intervention or a control group after a baseline data collection period. Midwives’ facilitators in the 10 intervention prenatal clinics (clusters) will be identified and trained to deliver the “5 A’s” to pregnant women and will then disseminate and implement the program. The 10 clusters in the control group will continue with their standard in-service activities. The intervention will be tailored by formative research to be readily applicable to local prenatal care services at maternity hospitals and acceptable to local pregnant women and health providers. Our primary hypothesis is that the intervention is feasible in prenatal clinics in Argentina and Uruguay and will increase the frequency of women receiving tobacco use cessation counseling during pregnancy in the intervention clinics compared to the control clinics. Our secondary hypotheses are that the intervention will decrease the frequency of women who smoke by the end of pregnancy, and that the intervention will increase the attitudes and readiness of midwives towards providing counseling to women in the intervention clinics compared to the control clinics.
ClinicalTrials.gov. Identifier: NCT01852617
Pregnancy; Smoking cessation; Guidelines
If it is well known that obesity increases morbidity for both mother and fetus and is associated with a variety of adverse reproductive outcomes, then few studies have assessed the relation between obesity and neonatal outcomes. This is the aim of the present study after taking into account type of labor and delivery, as well as social, medical and hospital characteristics in a population-based analysis.
This study used 2009 data from the Belgian birth register data pertaining to the regions of Brussels and Wallonia and included 38,675 consecutive births. Odds ratio and 95% confidence intervals for admission to neonatal intensive care unit, Apgar score, and perinatal mortality were calculated by logistic regression analyses adjusting for medical, social and hospital characteristics using obesity as the primary independent variable. The impact of analyzing all delivery sites together was tested using mixed-effect analyses.
The adjusted odds ratio for neonatal intensive care unit admission was higher for obese mothers by 38% compared to non-obese mothers (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.22-1.56), and by 45% (CI: 1.21-1.73) and 34% (CI: 1.10-1.63) after spontaneous and induced labour respectively. The adjusted odds ratio was 1.18 (CI: 0.86-1.63) after caesarean section. The adjusted odds ratio for 1 minute Apgar score inferior to 7 was higher for obese mothers by 31% compared to non-obese mothers (CI: 1.15-1.49) and by 26% (CI: 1.04-1.52) and 38% (CI: 1.12-1.69) after spontaneous and induced labour respectively. The adjusted odds ratio was 1.50 (CI: 0.96-2.36) after caesarean section. The adjusted odds ratio for perinatal mortality was 1.36 (CI: 0.75-2.45) for obese mothers compared to non-obese mothers.
Neonatal admission to intensive care and low Apgar scores were more likely to occur in infants from obese mothers, both after spontaneous and induced labor.
Obesity (MeSH); Intensive care; Neonatal (MeSH); Apgar score (MeSH); Perinatal mortality (MeSH); Obstetric delivery (MeSH); Obstetric labor (MeSH)
Ninety-eight percent of the 3.7 million neonatal deaths and 3.3 million stillbirths per year occur in developing countries, and evaluation of community-based interventions is needed.
Using a train-the-trainer model, local instructors trained birth attendants from rural communities in six countries (Argentina, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guatemala, India, Pakistan, and Zambia) in the World Health Organization Essential Newborn Care course (routine neonatal care, resuscitation, thermoregulation, breastfeeding, kangaroo care, care of the small baby, and common illnesses), and in a modified version of the American Academy of Pediatrics Neonatal Resuscitation Program (in depth basic resuscitation), except in Argentina.
The Essential Newborn Care intervention was assessed with a before and after design (N=57, 643). The Neonatal Resuscitation Program intervention was assessed as a cluster randomized controlled trial (N=62,366). The primary outcome was 7-day neonatal mortality.
The 7-day follow-up rate was 99.2%. Following Essential Newborn Care training, there was no significant reduction from baseline in all-cause 7-day neonatal (RR 0.99; CI 0.81, 1.22) or perinatal mortality; there was a significant reduction in the stillbirth rate (RR 0.69; CI 0.54, 0.88; p<0.01). Seven-day neonatal mortality, stillbirth, and perinatal mortality were not reduced in clusters randomized to Neonatal Resuscitation Program training as compared with control clusters.
Seven-day neonatal mortality did not decrease following the introduction of Essential Newborn Care training of community-based birth attendants, although the rate of stillbirths was reduced following this intervention. Subsequent training in the Neonatal Resuscitation Program did not significantly reduce the mortality rates. (clinicaltrials.gov number, NCT00136708).
neonatal mortality; perinatal mortality; developing countries; health systems; effectiveness
Little is known about the effects of disaster exposure and intensity on the development of mental disorders among pregnant women. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of exposure to Hurricane Katrina on mental health in pregnant women.
Prospective cohort epidemiological study.
Tertiary hospitals in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, USA.
Women who were pregnant during Hurricane Katrina or became pregnant immediately after the hurricane.
Main outcome measures
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.
The frequency of PTSD was higher in women with high hurricane exposure (13.8%) than women without high hurricane exposure (1.3%), with an adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of 16.8; 95 % confidence interval (CI): 2.6-106.6; after adjustment for maternal race, age, education, smoking and alcohol use, family income, parity, and other confounders. The frequency of depression was higher in women with high hurricane exposure (32.3%) than women without high hurricane exposure (12.3%), with aOR of 3.3 (1.6-7.1). Moreover, the risk of PTSD and depression increased with an increasing number of severe experiences of the hurricane.
Pregnant women who had severe hurricane experiences were at a significantly increased risk for PTSD and depression. This information should be useful for screening pregnant women who are at higher risk of developing mental disorders after disaster.
Depression; disaster; Hurricane Katrina; post-traumatic stress disorder; pregnancy
A problem repeatedly reported in birth certificate data is the presence of missing data. In 2008, a Centre for Perinatal Epidemiology was created inter alia to assist the Health Departments of Brussels-Capital City Region to check birth certificates. The purpose of this study is to assess the changes brought by the Centre in terms of completeness of data registration for the entire population and according to immigration status.
Birth certificates from the birth registry of 2008 and 2009 of Brussels were considered. We evaluated the initial missing information in January 2008 (baseline situation) and the corresponding rate at the end of 2008 after oral and written information had been given to the city civil servants and health providers. The data were evaluated again at the end of 2009 where no reinforcement rules were adopted. We also measured residual missing data after correction in socio-economic and medical data, for the entire population and according to maternal nationality of origin. Changes in registration of stillbirths were estimated by comparison to 2007 baseline data, and all multiple births were checked for complete identification of pairs.
Missing information initially accounted for 64.0%, 20.8% and 19.5% of certificates in January 2008, December 2008, and 2009 respectively. After correction with lists sent back to the hospitals or city offices, the mean residual missing data rate was 2.1% in 2008 and 0.8% in 2009. Education level and employment status were missing more often in immigrant mothers compared to Belgian natives both in 2008 and 2009. Mothers from Sub-Saharan Africa had the highest missing rate of socio-economic data. The stillbirth rate increased from 4.6 ‰ in 2007 to 8.2 ‰ in 2009. All twin pairs were identified, but early loss of a co-twin before 22 weeks was rarely reported.
Reinforcement of data collection was associated with a decrease of missing information. The residual missing data rate was very low. The stillbirth rate was also improved but the early loss of a co-twin before 22 weeks seems to remain underreported.
Birth certificates; Validation studies; Bias; Epidemiologic
To investigate temperament in infants whose mothers were exposed to Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, and to determine if high hurricane exposure is associated with difficult infant temperament. A prospective cohort study of women giving birth in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, LA (n=288) in 2006–2007 was conducted. Questionnaires and interviews assessed the mother’s experiences during the hurricane, living conditions, and psychological symptoms, two months and 12 months postpartum. Infant temperament characteristics were reported by the mother using the activity, adaptability, approach, intensity, and mood scales of the Early Infant and Toddler Temperament Questionnaires, and “difficult temperament” was defined as scoring in the top quartile for three or more of the scales. Logistic regression was used to examine the association between hurricane experience, mental health, and infant temperament. Serious experiences of the hurricane did not strongly increase the risk of difficult infant temperament (association with 3 or more serious experiences of the hurricane: adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.50, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.63–3.58 at 2 months; 0.58, 0.15–2.28 at 12 months). Maternal mental health was associated with report of difficult infant temperament, with women more likely to report having a difficult infant temperament at one year if they had screened positive for PTSD (aOR 1.82, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.61–5.41), depression, (aOR 3.16, 95% CI 1.22–8.20) or hostility (aOR 2.17, 95% CI 0.81–5.82) at 2 months. Large associations between maternal stress due to a natural disaster and infant temperament were not seen, but maternal mental health was associated with reporting difficult temperament. Further research is needed to determine the effects of maternal exposure to disasters on child temperament, but in order to help babies born in the aftermath of disaster, the focus may need to be on the mother’s mental health.
infant temperament; natural disaster; postpartum depression; post-traumatic stress disorder
Few studies assessed the results of multiple exposures to disaster. Our objective was to examine the effect of experiencing Hurricane Gustav on mental health of women previously exposed to Hurricane Katrina. 102 women from Southern Louisiana were interviewed by telephone. Experience of the hurricanes was assessed with questions about injury, danger, and damage, while depression was assessed with the Edinburgh Depression Scale and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) using the Post-traumatic Checklist. Minor stressors, social support, trait resilience, and perceived benefit had been measured previously. Mental health was examined with linear and log-linear models. Women who had a severe experience of both Gustav and Katrina scored higher on the mental health scales, but finding new ways to cope after Katrina or feeling more prepared was not protective. About half the population had better mental health scores after Gustav than at previous measures. Improvement was more likely among those who reported high social support or low levels of minor stressors, or were younger. Trait resilience mitigated the effect of hurricane exposure. Multiple disaster experiences are associated with worse mental health overall, though many women are resilient. Perceiving benefit after the first disaster was not protective.
disaster; depression; post-traumatic stress disorder; women
Intimate partner violence (IPV) has been associated with stress, but few studies have examined the effect of natural disaster on IPV. In this study, we examine the relationship between experience of Hurricane Katrina and reported relationship aggression and violence in a cohort of 123 postpartum women. Hurricane experience was measured using a series of questions about damage, injury, and danger during the storm; IPV was measured using the Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS-2). Multiple log-poisson regression was used to calculate relative risks, adjusted for potential confounders. Most reported that they and their partners had explained themselves to each other, showed each other respect, and also insulted, swore, or shouted during conflicts with each other. Much smaller proportions reported physical violence, sexual force, or destroying property, though in each case at least 5% endorsed that it had happened at least once in the last six months. Similar proportions reported that they and their partners had carried out these actions. Experiencing damage due to the storm was associated with increased likelihood of most conflict tactics. Strong relative risks were seen for the relationship between damage due to the storm and aggression or violence, especially being insulted, sworn, shouted, or yelled at (adjusted relative risk [aRR]1.23, 1.02–1.48), pushed, shoved, or slapped (aRR 5.28, 95% CI 1.93–14.45), or being punched, kicked, or beat up (aRR 8.25, 1.68–40.47). Our results suggest that certain experiences of the hurricane are associated with an increased likelihood of violent methods of conflict resolution. Relief and medical workers may need to be aware of the possibility of increased IPV after disaster.
Preterm birth is a major cause of neonatal mortality, responsible for 28% of neonatal deaths overall. The administration of antenatal corticosteroids to women at high risk of preterm birth is a powerful perinatal intervention to reduce neonatal mortality in resource rich environments. The effect of antenatal steroids to reduce mortality and morbidity among preterm infants in hospital settings in developed countries with high utilization is well established, yet they are not routinely used in developing countries. The impact of increasing antenatal steroid use in hospital or community settings with low utilization rates and high infant mortality among premature infants due to lack of specialized services has not been well researched. There is currently no clear evidence about the safety of antenatal corticosteroid use for community-level births.
We hypothesize that a multi country, two-arm, parallel cluster randomized controlled trial to evaluate whether a multifaceted intervention to increase the use of antenatal corticosteroids, including components to improve the identification of pregnancies at high risk of preterm birth and providing and facilitating the appropriate use of steroids, will reduce neonatal mortality at 28 days of life in preterm newborns, compared with the standard delivery of care in selected populations of six countries. 102 clusters in Argentina, Guatemala, Kenya, India, Pakistan, and Zambia will be randomized, and around 60,000 women and newborns will be enrolled. Kits containing vials of dexamethasone, syringes, gloves, and instructions for administration will be distributed. Improving the identification of women at high risk of preterm birth will be done by (1) diffusing recommendations for antenatal corticosteroids use to health providers, (2) training health providers on identification of women at high risk of preterm birth, (3) providing reminders to health providers on the use of the kits, and (4) using a color-coded tape to measure uterine height to estimate gestational age in women with unknown gestational age. In both intervention and control clusters, health providers will be trained in essential newborn care for low birth weight babies. The primary outcome is neonatal mortality at 28 days of life in preterm infants.
ClinicalTrials.gov. Identifier: NCT01084096
Neonatal mortality; Antenatal corticosteroids; Implementation research; Preterm birth
We sought to determine the serological test that could be used for Trypanosoma cruzi seroprevalence studies in Mexico, where lineage I predominates. In a previous study among pregnant women and their newborns in the states of Yucatan and Guanajuato, we reported a 0.8–0.9% of prevalence for T. cruzi–specific antibodies by Stat-Pak and Wiener ELISA. We have expanded this study here by performing an additional non-commercial ELISA and confirming the seropositives with Western blot, using whole antigens of a local parasite strain. We found a seroprevalence of 0.6% (3/500) in Merida and 0.4% in Guanajuato (2/488). The 5 seropositive umbilical cord samples reacted to both non-commercial ELISA and Western blot tests, and only 1 of the maternal samples was not reactive to non-commercial ELISA. A follow-up of the newborns at 10 mo was performed in Yucatan to determine the presence of T. cruzi antibodies in children as evidence of congenital infection. None of the children was seropositive. One newborn from an infected mother died at 2 wk of age of cardiac arrest, but T. cruzi infection was not confirmed. The T. cruzi seroprevalence data obtained with both commercial tests (Stat-Pak and ELISA Wiener) are similar to those from non-commercial tests using a local Mexican strain of T. cruzi.
To determine population-based stillbirth rates and to determine whether the timing and maturity of the stillbirths suggest a high proportion of potentially preventable deaths.
Prospective observational study.
Communities in six low-income countries (Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Zambia, Guatemala, India, and Pakistan) and one site in a mid-income country (Argentina).
Pregnant women residing in the study communities.
Over a five-year period, in selected catchment areas, using multiple methodologies, trained study staff obtained pregnancy outcomes on each delivery in their area.
Main outcome measures
Pregnancy outcome, stillbirth characteristics.
Outcomes of 195 400 deliveries were included. Stillbirth rates ranged from 32 per 1 000 in Pakistan to 8 per 1 000 births in Argentina. Three-fourths (76%) of stillbirth off-spring were not macerated, 63% were ≥37 weeks and 48% weighed 2 500g or more. Across all sites, women with no education, of high and low parity, of older age, and without access to antenatal care were at significantly greater risk for stillbirth (p<0.001). Compared to those delivered by a physician, women delivered by nurses and traditional birth attendants had a lower risk of stillbirth.
In these low-middle income countries, most stillbirth offspring were not macerated, were reported as ≥37 weeks’ gestation, and almost half weighed at least 2 500g. With access to better medical care, especially in the intrapartum period, many of these stillbirths could likely be prevented.
Developing countries; intrapartum stillbirth; stillbirth
Mobile health (mHealth) is emerging as a useful tool to improve healthcare access especially in the developing world, where limited access to health services is linked to poor antenatal care, and maternal and perinatal mortality.
The objective of this study is to 1) understand pregnant women’s access and usage of cell phones and 2) survey the health information needs and interests in a population attending public hospitals and health centers of two cities in Argentina. This information is not available and it is the basis to develop a strategy for improving maternal care via cell phones.
Questionnaires were verbally administered to pregnant women who were attending an antenatal care visit in community health centers and public hospitals in Rosario, Santa Fe and Mercedes, Corrientes. Participants were 18 years of age or older and had previously given birth. The data obtained was qualitative and analyzed using SPSS version 18.
A total of 147 pregnant women meeting inclusion criteria (Rosario: 63; Mercedes: 84) were approached and verbally consented to participate. The average age was 29.5 years, most lived in urban areas (89%) with a mean travel time of 43.4 minutes required to get to the health center and 57.3 minutes to get the hospital.
Ninety-six percent of women (n = 140) responded that they would like to receive text messages and cell phone calls with information regarding prenatal care, although the topics and period of time to receive information varied greatly.
Considering the vast majority of the interviewed women had access to and were interested in receiving text messages and calls with educational information regarding pregnancy and infant health, pregnant women in Argentina could benefit from such an mHealth program. The low access to Internet suggests it is not an option for this population; however, this cannot be assumed as representative of the country’s situation.
To retain active participation, other forms of health communication, such as a 2-way text message systems or toll-free numbers, could be considered in the future. Cost of use and implementing these options should be studied.
mHealth; Mobile health; SMS text messages; Perinatal; Prenatal; Healthcare; Argentina
Beaucoup d'enfants vivant avec le VIH ont été infectés par leurs mères. Pour prévenir la transmission verticale les femmes doivent d'abord connaître leur statut sérologique VIH.L'objectif de cette étude était de déterminer la proportion de statut VIH inconnu à la naissance et d'identifier les facteurs associés.
C'est une étude transversale réalisée dans 10 structures sanitaires de Lubumbashi de Juin à Septembre 2010. La taille de l’échantillon était de 602 accouchées. Les statistiques descriptives usuelles et la régression logistique ont été utilisées.
Parmi les accouchées, 52,5% ignoraient leur statut sérologique. Parmi elles, 62,9% accepteraient de faire le test VIH à la maternité. La proportion des femmes avec un statut sérologique VIH inconnu était significativement plus élevée chez celles qui n'avaient pas suivi de CPN (Odds Ratio ajusté (ORa) = 5,8; Intervalle de Confiance (IC) 95%: 1,7-19,8); chez celles qui avaient un bas niveau d'instruction (ORa = 1,5; IC 95%: 1,1-2,1) et chez celles qui ne savaient pas que la transmission verticale du VIH pouvaient se faire au moment de l'accouchement (ORa = 1,5; IC 95%: 1,0-2,4).
La proportion de femmes qui accouchent sans connaître leur statut sérologique au VIH est encore importante, malgré le fait que le dépistage du VIH soit proposé lors des CPN. Dans les zones à haute séroprévalence de VIH, aucune femme ne devrait accoucher sans être dépistée au VIH. Ce serait une opportunité manquée.
VIH; Prévention de la transmission mère-enfant; statut; Congo
Background: Differences in neonatal mortality among immigrants have been documented in Belgium and elsewhere, and these disparities are poorly understood. Our objective was to compare perinatal mortality rates in immigrant mothers according to citizenship status. Methods: This was a population-based study using 2008 data from the Belgian birth register data pertaining to regions of Brussels and Wallonia. Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for perinatal mortality according to naturalization status were calculated by logistic regression analyses adjusting for parents’ medical and social characteristics. Results: Four hundred and thirty-seven perinatal deaths were registered among 60 881 births (7.2‰). Perinatal mortality rate varied according to the origin of the mother and her naturalization status: among immigrants, non-naturalized immigrants had a higher incidence of perinatal mortality (10.3‰) than their naturalized counterparts (6.1‰) with an adjusted OR of 2.2, 95% CI (1.1–4.5). Conclusion: In a country with a high frequency of naturalization, and universal access to health care, naturalized immigrant mothers experience less perinatal mortality than their not naturalized counterparts.
To evaluate whether the use of oxytocin during first and second stages of labor is associated with higher incidence of postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) in pregnant women who received active management of third stage of labor (AMTSL).
A secondary data analysis from vaginal deliveries in a hospital-based cohort study from 24 maternities in South America. The primary outcomes analyzed were: moderate PPH (≥500ml of blood loss), severe PPH (≥1000ml of blood loss) and need of blood transfusion.
A total of 11,323 vaginal deliveries were included. The incidence of moderate and severe PPH was 10.8% and 1.86%, respectively. Overall, 36% received AMTSL. There was no association between induced/augmented labor and moderate PPH (p=0.753), severe PPH (p=0.273) and blood transfusion (p=0.603) in the population that received AMTSL.
AMTSL should be recommended regardless of whether pregnant women received or not oxytocin during the first and second stages of labor.
Active management labor; augmentation; induction; oxytocin
To review the use of evidence-based practices in the care of mothers who died or had severe morbidity attending public hospitals in two Latin American countries.
This study is part of a multicenter intervention to increase the use of evidence-based obstetric practice. Data on maternal deaths and women admitted to intensive care units whose deliveries occurred in 24 hospitals in Argentina and Uruguay were analyzed. Primary outcomes were use rates of effective interventions to reduce maternal mortality (MM) and severe maternal morbidity (SMM).
A total of 106 women were included: 26 maternal deaths and 80 women with SMM. Some effective interventions for severe acute hemorrhage had a high use rate, such as blood transfusion (91%) and timely cesarean delivery (75%), while active management of the third stage of labor (25%) showed a lower rate. The overall use rate of effective interventions was 58% (95% CI, 49%–67%). This implies that 42% of the women did not receive one of the effective interventions to reduce MM and SMM.
This study shows a low use of effective interventions to reduce MM and SMM in public hospitals in Argentina and Uruguay. Dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practices must be guaranteed to effectively achieve progress on maternal health.
Audit of clinical practice; Evidence-based medicine; Maternal mortality; Obstetric emergencies; Physician's practice patterns; Process evaluation (health care); Quality of Health Care; Utilization Review
After a natural disaster, mental disorders often become a long-term public health concern. Previous studies under smaller-scale natural disaster conditions suggest loss of psychosocial resources is associated with psychological distress.
We examined the occurrence of depression 6 and 12 months postpartum among 208 women residing in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who were pregnant during or immediately after Hurricane Katrina's landfall. Based on the Conservation of Resources (COR) theory, we explored the contribution of both tangible/financial and nontangible (psychosocial) loss of resources (LOR) on the outcome of depression, measured using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). We also investigated the influence on depression of individuals' hurricane experience through a Hurricane Experience Score (HES) that includes such factors as witnessing death, contact with flood waters, and injury to self or family members.
Both tangible and nontangible LOR were associated with depression cross-sectionally and prospectively. Severe hurricane exposure (high HES) was also associated with depression. Regression analysis showed LOR-associated depression was explained almost entirely by nontangible rather than tangible factors. Consistent with COR theory, however, nontangible LOR explained some of the association between severe hurricane exposure and depression in our models. A similar result was seen prospectively for depression at 12 months, even controlling for depression symptoms at 6 months.
These results suggest the need for preventive measures aimed at preserving psychosocial resources to reduce the long-term effects of disasters.
Although disaster causes distress, many disaster victims do not develop long-term psychopathology. Others report benefits after traumatic experiences (post-traumatic growth). The objective of this study was to examine demographic and hurricane-related predictors of resilience and post-traumatic growth.
222 pregnant southern Louisiana women were interviewed, and 292 postpartum women completed interviews at delivery and eight weeks later. Resilience was measured by scores lower than a non-affected population, using the Edinburgh Depression Scale and the Post-Traumatic Stress Checklist (PCL). Post-traumatic growth was measured by questions about perceived benefits of the storm. Women were asked about their experience of the hurricane, addressing danger, illness/injury, and damage. Chi-square tests and log-Poisson models were used to calculate associations and relative risks (RR) for demographics, hurricane experience, and mental health resilience and perceived benefit.
35% of pregnant and 34% of the postpartum women were resilient from depression, while 56% and 49% were resilient from post-traumatic stress disorder. Resilience was most likely among white women, older women, and women who had a partner. A greater experience of the storm, particularly injury/illness or danger, was associated with lower resilience. Experiencing damage due to the storm was associated with increased report of some perceived benefits.
Many pregnant and postpartum women are resilient from the mental health consequences of disaster, and perceive benefits after a traumatic experience. Certain aspects of experiencing disaster reduce resilience, but may increase perceived benefit.
resilience; depression; postpartum; pregnancy; disaster; post-traumatic stress disorder
Few studies have specifically examined the relationship between periodontal disease and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). The objective of this study was to examine whether maternal periodontal disease is associated with GDM.
A case-control study was conducted of 53 pregnant women with GDM and 106 pregnant women without GDM at Woman’s Hospital, Baton Rouge, USA. The periodontal examinations were performed by a calibrated dentist who was blinded on the diabetic status of the pregnant women. Periodontitis was defined as the presence of any site with a probing depth (PD) ≥ 4 mm or a clinical attachment loss (CAL) ≥ 4 mm. The severity of periodontal disease was measured in quartiles of PD and CAL. Univariable analysis and multivariable logistic regression were used to examine the relationships between periodontal disease and GDM.
The percentage of periodontitis was 77.4% in women with GDM and 57.5% in pregnant non-GDM women, with an odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of 2.5 (1.2–5.3). After adjusting for confounding variables of maternal age, parity, race, marital status, education, family income, smoking, alcohol consumption, systemic antibiotics in pregnancy, family history of diabetes, income, dental insurance coverage and body mass index, the adjusted OR (95% CI) was 2.6 (1.1–6.1). The adjusted ORs (95% CIs) of GDM comparing the highest-to-lowest quartiles of PD and CAL were 3.8 (1.0–14.0) and 4.5 (1.2–16.9).
This study supports the hypothesis of an association between periodontal disease and GDM.
Case-control study; gestational diabetes mellitus; periodontal disease; pregnancy
Maternal and newborn mortality rates remain unacceptably high, especially where the majority of births occur in home settings or in facilities with inadequate resources. The introduction of emergency obstetric and newborn care services has been proposed by several organizations in order to improve pregnancy outcomes. However, the effectiveness of emergency obstetric and neonatal care services has never been proven. Also unproven is the effectiveness of community mobilization and community birth attendant training to improve pregnancy outcomes.
We have developed a cluster-randomized controlled trial to evaluate the impact of a comprehensive intervention of community mobilization, birth attendant training and improvement of quality of care in health facilities on perinatal mortality in low and middle-income countries where the majority of births take place in homes or first level care facilities. This trial will take place in 106 clusters (300-500 deliveries per year each) across 7 sites of the Global Network for Women's and Children's Health Research in Argentina, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Pakistan and Zambia. The trial intervention has three key elements, community mobilization, home-based life saving skills for communities and birth attendants, and training of providers at obstetric facilities to improve quality of care. The primary outcome of the trial is perinatal mortality. Secondary outcomes include rates of stillbirth, 7-day neonatal mortality, maternal death or severe morbidity (including obstetric fistula, eclampsia and obstetrical sepsis) and 28-day neonatal mortality.
In this trial, we are evaluating a combination of interventions including community mobilization and facility training in an attempt to improve pregnancy outcomes. If successful, the results of this trial will provide important information for policy makers and clinicians as they attempt to improve delivery services for pregnant women and newborns in low-income countries.
To evaluate whether controlled cord traction (CCT) for management of the third stage of labor reduced postpartum blood loss compared with a “hands-off” management protocol.
Women with imminent vaginal delivery were randomly assigned to either a CCT group or a hands-off group. The women received prophylactic oxytocin. The primary outcome was blood loss during the third stage of labor.
In total, 103 women were allocated to the CCT group and 101 were allocated to the hands-off group. Median blood loss in the CCT group and the hands-off group was 282.0 mL and 310.2 mL, respectively. The difference in blood loss (−28.2 mL) was not significant (95% confidence interval, −92.3 to 35.9; P = 0.126). Blood collection in the hands-off group took 1.2 minutes longer than in the CCT group, which may have contributed to this difference.
CCT may reduce postpartum blood loss. The present findings support conducting a large trial to determine whether CCT can prevent postpartum hemorrhage.
Active management of the third stage of labor; Controlled cord traction; Maternal mortality; Postpartum hemorrhage; Third stage of labor
To identify risk factors for immediate postpartum hemorrhage after vaginal delivery in a South-American population.
This was a prospective cohort study including all vaginal births (n=11,323) between October-December 2003 and October-December 2005 from 24 maternity units in two South-American countries: Argentina and Uruguay. Blood loss was measured in all births using a calibrated receptacle. Moderate postpartum hemorrhage and severe postpartum hemorrhage were defined as blood loss of at least 500 ml and at least 1,000 ml, respectively.
Moderate and severe postpartum hemorrhage occurred in 10.8% and 1.9% of deliveries, respectively. The risk factors more strongly associated and the incidence of moderate postpartum hemorrhage in women with each of these factors were: retained placenta (33.3%) (adjusted odds ratio – aOR: 6.02; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.50–10.36); multiple pregnancy (20.9%) (aOR:4.67; CI 2.41–9.05); macrosomia (18.6%) (aOR:2.36; CI 1.93–2.88), episiotomy (16.2%) (aOR:1.70; CI 1.15–2.50); and need for perineal suture (15.0%) (aOR:1.66; CI 1.11–2.49). Active management of third stage of labor, multiparity and a low birth weight baby, were found to be protective factors. Severe postpartum hemorrhage was associated with retained placenta (17.1%)(aOR:16.04; CI 7.15–35.99), multiple pregnancy (4.7%)(aOR:4.34; CI 1.46–12.87), macrosomia (4.9%)(aOR:3.48; CI 2.27–5.36), induced labor (3.5%)(aOR:2.00; CI 1.30–3.09), and need for perineal suture (2.5%) (aOR:2.50; CI 1.87–3.36).
Many of the risk factors for immediate postpartum hemorrhage in this South-American population are related to complications of the second and third stage of labor.
Little is known about the effects of natural disasters on pregnancy outcomes. We studied mental health and birth outcomes among women exposed to Hurricane Katrina.
We collected data prospectively from a cohort of 301 women from New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Pregnant women were interviewed during pregnancy about their experiences during the hurricane, as well as whether they had experienced symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or depression. High hurricane exposure was defined as having three or more of the eight severe hurricane experiences, such as feeling that one's life was in danger, walking through floodwaters, or having a loved one die.
The frequency of low birth weight was higher in women with high hurricane exposure (14.0%) than women without high hurricane exposure (4.7%), with an adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 3.3; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.13−9.89; p<0.01. The frequency of preterm birth was higher in women with high hurricane exposure (14.0%) than women without high hurricane exposure (6.3%), with aOR: 2.3; 95% CI: 0.82−6.38; p>0.05. There were no significant differences in the frequency of low birth weight or preterm birth between women with PTSD or depression and women without PTSD or depression (p>0.05).
Women who had high hurricane exposure were at an increased risk of having low birth weight infants. Rather than a general exposure to disaster, exposure to specific severe disaster events and the intensity of the disaster experience may be better predictors of poor pregnancy outcomes. To prevent poor pregnancy outcomes during and after disasters, future disaster preparedness may need to include the planning of earlier evacuation of pregnant women to minimize their exposure to severe disaster events.
Depression; disaster; low birth weight; post-traumatic stress disorder; pregnancy