Trauma in Pregnancy: Predicting Pregnancy Outcome

David P. Kissinger, Grace S. Rozycki, John A. Morris, M. Margaret Knudson, Wayne S. Copes, Sue M. Bass, H. Kendle Yates, Howard R. Champion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


A multicenter study involving three American College of Surgeons Level 1 trauma centers was undertaken to assess parameters that may predict fetal outcome. The records of 93 injured pregnant patients admitted from April 1, 1985, to March 31, 1990, were reviewed. There were three maternal deaths (3%) (mean Injury Severity Score, 43). Fourteen fetal/neonatal deaths (15%) occurred during the acute care admission period. Of these, eight were fetal deaths (two associated with maternal death), four were cases of elective abortions, and two were neonatal deaths. In general, the maternal physiologic and laboratory parameters assessed failed to accurately predict pregnancy outcome, while Injury Severity Score did differ significantly between patients whose pregnancies were viable (Injury Severity Score=6.2) and those whose pregnancies were nonviable (Injury Severity Score=21.6). Unique to this study were the findings that the Glasgow Coma Score also differed significantly in patients with viable (Glasgow Coma Score, 14.5) and nonviable (Glasgow Coma Score, 12.0) pregnancies, while fetal heart rate at admission to the emergency department did not. In this study, the incidence of fetal death was increased following direct uteroplacental fetal injury (100% of cases), maternal shock (67%), pelvic fracture (57%), severe head injury (56%), and hypoxia (33%). The adequacy of noninvasive maternal monitoring in assessing fetal well-being is challenged, and a discussion of diagnostic modalities for assessment for the injured gravida is set forth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1079-1086
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1991
Externally publishedYes


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