July 23, 2018

Background: In 2011, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) released a committee opinion warning against the use of nitrofurantoin (Macrobid) during the first trimester of pregnancy due to the perceived risk of an increased rate of congenital abnormalities with its use (Committee Opinion 2017). While the committee continued to recommend that nitrofurantoin be used as a first-line agent during the second and third trimesters, they stated that it should only be considered appropriate in the first trimester when no other suitable alternative antibiotics were available. While this recommendation seems to have been slow to permeate into the emergency medicine community, growing awareness has led to clinical trepidation in the provision of nitrofurantoin.

March 19, 2018

Background: Pulmonary embolism is the leading cause of death in pregnancy and the puerperium - accounting for nearly 20% of maternal deaths in the United States - making rapid and accurate diagnosis critically important for emergency physicians, OB/GYNs, and all who take care of these women on a regular basis. Unfortunately, typical diagnostic pathways and approaches may not apply in pregnancy, and are made more complicated by the frequency of concerning and suggestive signs and symptoms in this population, particularly dyspnea (a common symptom in pregnancy related to an increase in progesterone levels) and tachycardia (as resting heart rate is typically expected to increase by up to 25% in normal pregnancy).

January 15, 2018

Definition: Blood loss > 500 ml after a delivery (or > 250 ml after an abortion). The management of post-abortion hemorrhage is similar to that of post-partum hemorrhage (PPH).

Causes

  • Uterine atony (~ 50% of cases)
  • Retained products of conception (POCs)
  • Cervical lacerations
  • Uterine perforation
  • Uterine Inversion
  • Abnormal placentation (accreta, increta, percreta)
  • Coagulopathy

Background:

  • Occurs in 1-2% of patients undergoing a first trimester surgical abortion
  • Most common cause of abortion-related mortally in 2nd trimester
  • Risk increases with increasing maternal age

October 16, 2017

Background: First trimester vaginal bleeding is a common complaint seen in the emergency department.  Patients are obviously stressed about the possibility of miscarriage while providers are stressed about missing diagnoses such as ectopic pregnancies.  There have been multiple studies questioning the interrater reliability of the pelvic examination. A more important question however, is does the pelvic examination provide any benefit to these patients by enhancing management and decreasing morbidity?

May 22, 2017

Background: Post-partum hemorrhage (PPH) is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide. It is typically defined as > 500 ml of blood loss within 24 hours of giving birth. However, PPH encompasses a broad spectrum of disease from mild oozing over hours to rapid exsanguination and death. The burden of mortality from PPH is shouldered mainly by developing countries thus requiring cost-effective treatment modalities. Tranexamic acid (TXA) is one such possibly modality. TXA works by inhibiting the breakdown of fibrinogen and fibrin by plasmin. In essence, it stabilizes clot that the body naturally forms. TXA has a well established role in reducing death in trauma patients as demonstrated in the CRASH-2 trial (CRASH-2 2010) and is already used by many performing resuscitations in resource strapped locations due to its availability and low cost. Whether early TXA in post-partum hemorrhage reduces mortality while avoiding significant clotting complications (DVT, PE, ACS, CVA) is unknown.

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