Epidemiology of Critical Illness in Obstetrics



Critical illness in pregnancy as a morbidity outcome is difficult to define and therefore difficult to measure and study precisely. As stated by Harmer, “Death represents the tip of the morbidity iceberg, the size of which is unknown.” The stage at which any condition becomes severe enough to be classified as a critical illness has not been clearly defined. However, it may be helpful to consider critical illness as impending, developing, or established significant organ dysfunction, which may lead to long-term morbidity or death. This allows some flexibility in the characterization of disease severity since it recognizes condition that can deteriorate rather quickly in pregnancy.


Critical Illness Maternal Mortality Maternal Death Cerebral Malaria Rheumatic Heart Disease 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Harmer M. Maternal mortality – is it still relevant? Anaesthesia. 1997;52:99–100.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Baskett TF, Sternadel J. Maternal intensive care and near – miss mortality in obstetrics. Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1998;105:981–4.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kilpatrick SJ, Matthay MA. Obstetric patients requiring critical care. A five-year review. Chest. 1992;101:1407–12.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Naylor DF, Olson MM. Critical care obstetrics and gynecology. Crit Care Clin. 2003;19:127–49.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Munnur U, Karnad DR, Bandi VDP, Lapsia V, Suresh MS, Ramshesh P, Gardner MA, Longmire S, Guntupalli KK. Critically ill obstetric patients in an American and an Indian public hospital: comparison of case – mix, organ dysfunction, intensive care requirements, and outcomes. Intensive Care Med. 2005;31:1087–94.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ananth CV, Smulian JC. Epidemiology of critical illness in pregnancy. In: Belfort M, Saade G, Foley M, Phelan J, Dildy G, editors. Critical care obstetrics. 5th ed. Boston: Blackwell Publishing Ltd; 2010. p. 1–10.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Panchal S, Arria AM, Harris AP. Intensive care utilization during hospital admission for delivery. Anesthesiology. 2000;92:1537–44.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ananth CV. Epidemiology of critical illnesses and outcomes in pregnancy. In: Belfort MA, Dildy GA, Saade GR et al editors. Critical Care Obstetrics. 4th ed. Boston: Blackwell Publishing Ltd; 2004. p. 11.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Soubra HS, Guntupalli KK. Critical illness in pregnancy: an overview. Crit Care Med. 2005;33(10 Suppl):S248–55.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer India 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynaecologyS.N. Medical CollegeAgraIndia
  2. 2.Rainbow HospitalsAgraIndia

Personalised recommendations