McCaw-Binns, Affette M.; Ashley, Deanna E.; Knight, L.; MacGillivray, I.; Golding, J.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Community Health and Psychiatry
Strategies to Prevent Eclampsia in a Developing Country: I. Re-Organisation of Maternity Services
International Journal of Gynaecology and Obsterics
Date of Publication
Objective: To determine whether changes in primary and secondary care service delivery could prevent antenatal eclampsia. Method: One intervention (St. Catherine) and two control (St. Ann, Manchester) parishes were chosen. The health system in St. Catherine was restructured. Primary antenatal clinics had clear instructions for referring patients to a high-risk antenatal clinic or to hospital. Guidelines were provided to high-risk clinics and the antenatal ward for appropriate treatment of hypertension and preeclampsia when induction of labour should occur. Antenatal eclampsia incidence was monitored before and during the intervention and compared with control parishes (no intervention). Each eclampsia case was investigated to identify inadequacies in the system. Results: The process resulted in better identification of women at risk. Antenatal eclampsia incidence dropped dramatically as care improved. Compared with control areas, by completion of the study, the rate was significantly lower than at the start: OR 0.19, (95% CI:0.13- 0.27;p<0.001 trend). Antenatal admissions for hypertensive disorders declined significantly, and the number of bed days halved. Conclusion: Reorganization of maternal care can have major public health benefits and cost savings. However, women need to be alerted to recognise and act upon signs of impending eclampsia.....