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18.01.2017 | original article | Ausgabe 17-18/2017 Open Access

Wiener klinische Wochenschrift 17-18/2017

Outcomes and trends of peripartum maternal admission to the intensive care unit

Wiener klinische Wochenschrift > Ausgabe 17-18/2017
Alex Farr, Agnes Lenz-Gebhart, Sabrina Einig, Clemens Ortner, Iris Holzer, Marie Elhenicky, Peter W. Husslein, Rainer Lehner
Wichtige Hinweise
Author contribution statement A. Farr and R. Lehner designed the study; A. Farr, A. Lenz-Gebhart, S. Einig, I. Holzer and M. Elhenicky collected the data; A. Farr performed the statistical analyses; A. Farr, A. Lenz-Gebhart, C. Ortner, I. Holzer and R. Lehner wrote the paper; P.W. Husslein provided clinical support; All authors approved the final version of the paper.



The number of pregnant women with severe comorbidities is increasing. The aim of the present study was to analyze outcomes and determine trends in women who required peripartum admission to the intensive care unit (ICU).


In this retrospective study, we identified all women who were admitted to the ICU between the second trimester of pregnancy and 6 weeks postpartum. Women with ICU admission between 2011 and 2014 were assigned to the study group, whereas those admitted between 1996 and 2003 were assigned to the historical group. Comorbidities, characteristics, outcomes, and treatment efforts were assessed. Descriptive analysis, Fisher’s exact test, unpaired Student’s t-test and one-way ANOVA were performed.


We identified 238 cases, including 135 (56.7%) in the study group and 103 (43.3%) in the historical group. In 83 (34.9%) women, deterioration of the pre-existing medical condition was causal for ICU admission. Overall, preterm delivery and mean gestational age were 81.5% and 31.6 ± 6.2 weeks, respectively. In comparison to the historical group, women of the study group were older (p = 0.005), more frequently presented with multiple comorbidities (p = 0.003), pre-existing conditions (p < 0.001), and congenital heart disease (p = 0.012). Moreover, they had a shorter length of stay at the ICU than those of the historical group (p = 0.02).


Peripartum ICU admissions are increasing in frequency. As maternal characteristics are changing, adequate risk stratification with multidisciplinary care are essential, and access to intermediate care units would be preferable for patients with short-term admission.

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