ResearchPad - maternal-health https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Newborn body composition after maternal bariatric surgery]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13862 In pregnancy after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), there is increased risk of low birthweight in the offspring. The present study examined how offspring body composition was affected by RYGB.Material and methodsMother-newborn dyads, where the mothers had undergone RYGB were included. Main outcome measure was neonatal body composition. Neonatal body composition was assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scanning (DXA) within 48 hours after birth. In a statistical model offspring born after RYGB were compared with a reference material of offspring and analyses were made to estimate the effect of maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI), gestational weight gain, parity, gestational age at birth and newborn sex on newborn body composition. Analyses were made to estimate the impact of maternal weight loss before pregnancy and of other effects of bariatric surgery respectively. The study was performed at a university hospital between October 2012 and December 2013.ResultsWe included 25 mother-newborn dyads where the mothers had undergone RYGB and compared them to a reference material of 311 mother-newborn dyads with comparable pre-pregnancy BMI. Offspring born by mothers after RYGB had lower birthweight (335g, p<0.001), fat-free mass (268g, p<0.001) and fat% (2.8%, p<0.001) compared with reference material. Only 2% of the average reduction in newborn fat free mass could be attributed to maternal pre-pregnancy weight loss whereas other effects of RYGB accounted for 98%. Regarding reduction in fat mass 52% was attributed to weight loss and 47% to other effects of surgery.ConclusionOffspring born after maternal bariatric surgery, had lower birthweight, fat-free mass and fat percentage when compared with a reference material. RYGB itself and not the pre-pregnancy weight loss seems to have had the greatest impact on fetal growth. ]]> <![CDATA[Left powerless: A qualitative social media content analysis of the Dutch #breakthesilence campaign on negative and traumatic experiences of labour and birth]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13813 Disrespect and abuse during labour and birth are increasingly reported all over the world. In 2016, a Dutch client organization initiated an online campaign, #genoeggezwegen (#breakthesilence) which encouraged women to share negative and traumatic maternity care experiences. This study aimed (1) to determine what types of disrespect and abuse were described in #genoeggezwegen and (2) to gain a more detailed understanding of these experiences.MethodsA qualitative social media content analysis was carried out in two phases. (1) A deductive coding procedure was carried out to identify types of disrespect and abuse, using Bohren et al.’s existing typology of mistreatment during childbirth. (2) A separate, inductive coding procedure was performed to gain further understanding of the data.Results438 #genoeggezwegen stories were included. Based on the typology of mistreatment during childbirth, it was found that situations of ineffective communication, loss of autonomy and lack of informed consent and confidentiality were most often described. The inductive analysis revealed five major themes: ‘‘lack of informed consent”; ‘‘not being taken seriously and not being listened to”; ‘‘lack of compassion”; ‘‘use of force”; and ‘‘short and long term consequences”. “Left powerless” was identified as an overarching theme that occurred throughout all five main themes.ConclusionThis study gives insight into the negative and traumatic maternity care experiences of Dutch women participating in the #genoeggezwegen campaign. This may indicate that disrespect and abuse during labour and birth do happen in the Netherlands, although the current study gives no insight into prevalence. The findings of this study may increase awareness amongst maternity care providers and the community of the existence of disrespect and abuse in Dutch maternity care, and encourage joint effort on improving care both individually and systemically/institutionally. ]]> <![CDATA[Women’s empowerment as self-compassion?: Empirical observations from  India]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13876 Although ICPD brought about an international consensus on the centrality of women’s empowerment and gender equity as desired national goals, the conceptualization and measurement of empowerment in demography and economics have been largely understood in a relational and in a family welfare context where women’s altruistic behaviour within the household is tied either to developmental or child health outcomes. The goals of this study were twofold: (1) to offer an empirical examination of the household level empowerment measure through the theoretical construct of self-compassion and investigate its association with antenatal health, and (2) to ensure robust psychometric quality for this new measure. Drawing data from the nationally representative, multi-topic dataset of 42, 152 households, India Human Development Survey, IHDS II (2011–2012), the study performed a confirmatory factor analysis followed by an OLS estimation to investigate the association between a self-compassionate based empowerment and antenatal care. Empowerment was shown to be positively and significantly associated with antenatal care with significant age and education gradient. A woman’s married status, her relation to the household head and joint family residence created conditions of restricted freedom in terms of her mobility, decision making and sociality. The empowerment measure showed inconsistent associations with social group affiliations and household wealth. The study provided an intellectual starting point to rethink the traditional formulations of empowerment by foregrounding its empirical measure within the relatively unexplored area of social psychology. In the process it addressed measurement gaps in the empowerment-health debate in India and beyond.

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<![CDATA[Special footwear designed for pregnant women and its effect on kinematic gait parameters during pregnancy and postpartum period]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13821 During pregnancy, an array of changes occurs in women body to enable the growth and development of the future baby and the consequent delivery. These changes are reflected in the range of motion of trunk, pelvis, lower limbs and other body segments, affect the locomotion and some of these changes may persist to the postpartum period. The aim of this study was to describe the changes affecting the gait during pregnancy and to determine the effect of tested footwear on kinematic gait characteristics during pregnancy as previous studies indicate that special orthopaedic insoles and footwear might be useful in prevention of the common musculoskeletal pain and discomfort related to pregnancy. Participants from the control group (n = 18), without any intervention, and the experimental group (n = 23), which was wearing the tested shoes, were measured at their 14, 28 and 37 gestational weeks and 28 weeks postpartum to capture the complete pregnancy-related changes in gait. The gait 3D kinematic data were obtained using Simi Motion System. The differences between the control and experimental group at the first data collection session in most of the analysed variables, as well as relatively high standard deviations of analysed variables indicate large individual differences in the gait pattern. The effect of tested footwear on kinematic gait pattern changes may be explained by its preventive effect against the foot arches falling. In the control group, changes associated previously with the foot arches falling and hindfoot hyperpronation were observed during advanced phases of pregnancy and postpartum, e.g. increase in knee flexion or increase in spinal curvature. For the comprehensive evaluation of the tested footwear on pregnancy gait pattern, future studies combining the kinematic and dynamic plantographic methods are needed.

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<![CDATA[Likely questionnaire-diagnosed food allergy in 78, 890 adults from the northern Netherlands]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13854 It is challenging to define likely food allergy (FA) in large populations which limited the number of large studies regarding risk factors for FA.ObjectiveWe studied the prevalence and characteristics of self-reported FA (s-rFA) in the large, population-based Dutch Lifelines cohort and identified associated risk factors.MethodsLikely food allergic cases (LikelyFA) were classified based on questionnaire reported characteristics consistent with FA. Subjects with atypical characteristics were classified as Indeterminate. We investigated 13 potential risk factors for LikelyFA such as birth mode and living on a farm and addressed health-related quality of life (H-RQOL).ResultsOf the 78, 890 subjects, 12.1% had s-rFA of which 4.0% and 8.1% were classified as LikelyFA and Indeterminate, respectively. Younger age, female sex, asthma, eczema and nasal allergy increased the risk of LikelyFA (p-value range <1.00*10−250–1.29*10−7). Living in a small city/large village or suburb during childhood was associated with a higher risk of LikelyFA than living on a farm (p-value = 7.81*10−4 and p = 4.84*10−4, respectively). Subjects classified as Indeterminate more often reported depression and burn-out compared to those without FA (p-value = 1.46*10−4 and p = 8.39*10−13, respectively). No association was found with ethnicity, (duration of) breastfeeding, birth mode and reported eating disorder. Mental and physical component scores measuring H-RQOL were lower in both those classified as LikelyFA and Indeterminate compared to those without FA.ConclusionThe prevalence of s-rFA among adults is considerable and one-third reports characteristics consistent with LikelyFA. Living on a farm decreased the risk of LikelyFA. The association of poorer H-RQOL as well as depression and burn-out with questionable self-perceived FA is striking and a priority for future study. ]]> <![CDATA[Ultrasound prediction of Zika virus-associated congenital injury using the profile of fetal growth]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13878 Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-transmitted flavivirus, recently linked to microcephaly and central nervous system anomalies following infection in pregnancy. Striking findings of disproportionate growth with a smaller than expected head relative to body length have been observed more commonly among fetuses with exposure to ZIKV in utero compared to pregnancies without ZIKV infection regardless of other signs of congenital infection including microcephaly. This study’s objective was to determine the diagnostic accuracy of femur-sparing profile of intrauterine growth restriction for the identification of ZIKV-associated congenital injuries on postnatal testing. A retrospective cohort study of pregnant women with possible or confirmed ZIKV infection between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2017 were included. Subjects were excluded if no prenatal ultrasound was available. A femur-sparing profile of growth restriction determined using INTERGROWTH-21st sonographic standard for head circumference to femur length (HC: FL). Congenital injuries were determined postnatally by imaging, comprehensive eye exam and standard newborn hearing screen. A total of 111 pregnant women diagnosed with ZIKV infection underwent fetal ultrasound and 95 neonates had complete postnatal evaluation. Prenatal microcephaly was detected in 5% of fetuses (6/111). Postnatal testing detected ZIKV-associated congenital injuries in 25% of neonates (24/95). A HC: FL Z-score ≤ -1.3 had a 52% specificity (95% CI 41–63%), 82% negative predictive value (NPV, 95% CI 73–88%) for the detection of ZIKV-associated congenital injuries in the neonatal period. A more stringent threshold with a Z-score ≤ -2 was associated with a 90% specificity (95% CI 81–95%), 81% NPV (95% CI 77–85%). Excluding cases of fetal microcephaly, HC: FL (Z-score ≤ -2) demonstrated a similar specificity (89%, 95% CI 81–95%) with superior NPV (87%, 95% CI 84–90%). The sonographic recognition of a normally proportioned fetus may be useful prenatally to exclude a wider spectrum of ZIKV-associated congenital injuries detected postnatally.

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<![CDATA[Implementation of maternity protection legislation: Gynecologists’ perceptions and practices in French-speaking Switzerland]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11226 In several countries, maternity protection legislations (MPL) confer an essential role to gynecologist-obstetricians (OBGYNs) for the protection of pregnant workers and their future children from occupational exposures. This study explores OBGYNs’ practices and difficulties in implementing MPL in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.MethodsAn online survey was sent to 333 OBGYNs. Data analysis included: 1) descriptive and correlational statistics and 2) hierarchical cluster analysis to identify patterns of practices.ResultsOBGYNs evoked several problems in MPL implementation: absence of risk analysis in the companies, difficult collaboration with employers, lack of competencies in the field of occupational health. Preventive leave was underused, with sick leave being prescribed instead. Training had a positive effect on OBGYNs’ knowledge and implementation of MPL. Hierarchical cluster analysis highlighted three main types of practices: 1) practice in line with legislation; 2) practice on a case-by-case basis; 3) limited practice. OBGYNs with good knowledge of MPL more consistently applied its provisions.ConclusionThe implementation of MPL appears challenging for OBGYNs. Collaboration with occupational physicians and training might help OBGYNs to better take on their role in maternity protection. MPL in itself could be improved. ]]> <![CDATA[Development and validation of a questionnaire to assess healthcare personnel competence in cardiac arrest and resuscitation in pregnancy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7826 Cardiac arrest is rare in pregnancy, and up-to date competence can be difficult to assess and maintain. The objective of this study was to develop and validate a questionnaire to assess healthcare personnel experiences, self-assessed competence and perception of role and resposibility related to cardiac arrest and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in pregnancyMethodsThe study had a cross-sectional design, developing and validating a questionnaire: the Competence in cardiac arrest and CPR in pregnancy (ComCA-P). Development and validation of the ComCA-P was conducted in three stages: 1) Literature review and expert group panel inputs, 2) a pilot study and 3) a cross-sectional questionnaire study. In stage one, the ComCA-P was developed over several iterations between the researchers, including inputs from an expert group panel consisting of highly competent professionals (n = 11). In stage two, the questionnaire was piloted in a group of healthcare personnel with relevant competence (n = 16). The ComCA-P was then used in a baseline study including healthcare personnel potentially involved in CPR in pregnancy (n = 527) in six hospital wards. Based on these data, internal consistency, intra-class correlations, and confirmatory factor analysis were utilized to validate the questionnaire.ResultsThe expert group and pilot study participants evaluated the appropriateness, relevance and accuracy to be high. Formulation of the items was considered appropriate, with no difficulties identified related to content- or face validity. Cronbach’s alpha was 0.8 on the thematic area self-assessment, and 0.73 on the theoretical knowledge area of the ComCA-P. On both the self-assessed competence items and the teoretical knowledge items, Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin was 0.8. Moreover, the Bertletts’ test of sphericity was greater than the critical value for chi-square, and significant (p < .0001).ConclusionsFindings indicate that the ComCA-P is a valid questionnaire that can be used to assess healthcare personnel competence in cardiac arrest and resuscitation in pregnancy. ]]> <![CDATA[Model based estimation of QT intervals in non-invasive fetal ECG signals]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7659 The end timing of T waves in fetal electrocardiogram (fECG) is important for the evaluation of ST and QT intervals which are vital markers to assess cardiac repolarization patterns. Monitoring malignant fetal arrhythmias in utero is fundamental to care in congenital heart anomalies preventing perinatal death. Currently, reliable detection of end of T waves is possible only by using fetal scalp ECG (fsECG) and fetal magnetocardiography (fMCG). fMCG is expensive and less accessible and fsECG is an invasive technique available only during intrapartum period. Another safer and affordable alternative is the non-invasive fECG (nfECG) which can provide similar assessment provided by fsECG and fMECG but with less accuracy (not beat by beat). Detection of T waves using nfECG is challenging because of their low amplitudes and high noise. In this study, a novel model-based method that estimates the end of T waves in nfECG signals is proposed. The repolarization phase has been modeled as the discharging phase of a capacitor. To test the model, fECG signals were collected from 58 pregnant women (age: (34 ± 6) years old) bearing normal and abnormal fetuses with gestational age (GA) 20-41 weeks. QT and QTc intervals have been calculated to test the level of agreement between the model-based and reference values (fsECG and Doppler Ultrasound (DUS) signals) in normal subjects. The results of the test showed high agreement between model-based and reference values (difference < 5%), which implies that the proposed model could be an alternative method to detect the end of T waves in nfECG signals.

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<![CDATA[Variation in plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D2 and D3 in normal pregnancy with gestational age, sampling season, and complications: A longitudinal cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ndf1a2733-e0b1-4fc7-90ad-b2bfa4368f5f

Introduction

Low levels of vitamin D in pregnancy have been associated with the risk of a variety of pregnancy outcomes. Few studies have investigated vitamin D concentrations throughout pregnancy in healthy women, and most guidelines recommend high vitamin D levels. In the present study, we investigated 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in healthy Caucasian Danish women in relation to season, gestational age and possible vitamin D-linked complications.

Materials and methods

Eight hundred and one healthy Caucasian Danish women with an expected normal pregnancy were recruited among 2147 women attending first trimester screening. Seven blood samplings were planned throughout the pregnancy and delivery period. The 25-hydroxyvitamin D2 (25(OH)D2) and 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3) concentrations were measured by LC-MS/MS and total 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) were calculated.

Results

A total of 3304 samples from 694 women were available for 25(OH)D measurements. The mean (25th-75th percentiles) concentrations of 25(OH)D, 25(OH)D3, and 25(OH)D2 were 54.6 (38.8–68.6) nmol/L, 52.2 (36.4–66.4) nmol/L, and 2.4 (2.2–2.2) nmol/L, respectively. Season was the strongest predictor of 25(OH)D concentration, with the lowest values observed in winter and spring, where only 42% and 41% of samples, respectively, were above 50 nmol/L. Nearly all women had values below the suggested optimal level of 75 nmol/L, independent of season. 25(OH)D peaked at gestational weeks 21–34. Plasma 25(OH)D2 levels were low in all seasons. Women with complications during pregnancy had higher 25(OH)D (estimated difference 9.8 nmol/L, standard error 2.7, p<0.001) than did women without complications, and women giving birth vaginally had lower 25(OH)D than did those delivering via elective (10.0 nmol/L, standard error 2.1, p<0.001) or emergency cesarean section (6.8 nmol/L, standard error 2.2, p<0.001).

Conclusion

The 25(OH)D concentrations vary with both season and gestational age. Healthy women had lower 25(OH)D concentrations than recommended, without an association with an increased risk of pregnancy complications. Guidelines for vitamin D in pregnancy may require revision.

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<![CDATA[High prevalence of caesarean birth among mothers delivered at health facilities in Bahir Dar city, Amhara region, Ethiopia. A comparative study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nc10b7a7b-4e34-4c06-9bc7-b9eb28d75615

Objective

The study aimed to assess and compare the prevalence of caesarean birth and associated factors among women gave birth at public and private health facilities in Bahir Dar city, Amhara region, Ethiopia.

Methods

An institution-based comparative cross-sectional study design was conducted from March1-April 15, 2019 at health facility provide emergency obstetrics service in Bahir Dar city. Study participants 724(362 for each public and private facility) were recruited using a systematic random sampling technique. Structured interview administered questionnaires and chart review checklist were used to collect data. The data were entered into Epi info version 7.2 and analyzed using SPSS version 23.0 software. A binary logistic regression model was fitted and an adjusted odds ration with 95% CI was used to determine the presence and strength of association between independent variables and cesarean birth.

Results

The response rate was 98.3% and 97.2% for public and private health facilities respectively. The prevalence of caesarean birth in private health facilities was 198 (56.3%) (95%CI: 50.9, 61.4) and in public health facilities was 98 (27.5%) (95%CI: 22.8, 32.2). Overall prevalence of caesarean birth was 296 (41.8%) (95%CI: 38.4, 45.5). Breech presentation (AOR = 3.64; 95%CI:1.49, 8.89), urban residence (AOR = 6.54; 95%CI:2.59, 16.48) and being referred (AOR = 2.44; 95%CI:1.46, 4.08) were variables significantly associated with caesarean birth among public facilities whereas age between 15–24 (AOR = 0.20, 95% CI; 0.07, 0.52), government employe (AOR = 2.28; 95%CI: 1.39,3.75), self-employed (AOR = 3.73; 95%CI:1.15,8.59), para one (AOR = 6.79; 95%CI:2.02, 22.79), para two (AOR = 3.88; 95% CI:1.15,13.08), and wealth index being highest level of wealth asset AOR = 5.39; 95%CI:1.08, 26.8) in private health facility associated with caesarean birth.

Conclusions

We concluded that there is high prevalence of caesarean birth both in private and public facility. There is a statistically significant difference in the prevalence of caesarean birth in public and private health facilities.

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<![CDATA[Detection of microbial cell-free DNA in maternal and umbilical cord plasma in patients with chorioamnionitis using next generation sequencing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N85cfbb28-a074-423a-88cd-d5e05af52830

Background

Chorioamnionitis has been linked to spontaneous preterm labor and complications such as neonatal sepsis. We hypothesized that microbial cell-free (cf) DNA would be detectable in maternal plasma in patients with chorioamnionitis and could be the basis for a non-invasive method to detect fetal exposure to microorganisms.

Objective

The purpose of this study was to determine whether next generation sequencing could detect microbial cfDNA in maternal plasma in patients with chorioamnionitis.

Study design

Maternal plasma (n = 94) and umbilical cord plasma (n = 120) were collected during delivery at gestational age 28–41 weeks. cfDNA was extracted and sequenced. Umbilical cord plasma samples with evidence of contamination were excluded. The prevalence of microorganisms previously implicated in choriomanionitis, neonatal sepsis and intra-amniotic infections, as described in the literature, were examined to determine if there was enrichment of these microorganisms in this cohort. Specific microbial cfDNA associated with chorioamnionitis was first detected in umbilical cord plasma and confirmed in the matched maternal plasma samples (n = 77 matched pairs) among 14 cases of histologically confirmed chorioamnionitis and one case of clinical chorioamnionitis; 63 paired samples were used as controls. A correlation of rank of a given microorganism across maternal plasma and matched umbilical cord plasma was used to assess whether signals found in umbilical cord plasma were also present in maternal plasma.

Results

Microbial DNA sequences associated with clinical and/or histological chorioamnionitis were enriched in maternal plasma in cases with suspected chorioamnionitis when compared to controls (12/14 microorganisms, p = 0.02). Analysis of the microbial cfDNA in umbilical cord plasma among the 1,251 microorganisms detectable with this assay identified Streptococcus mitis, Ureaplasma spp., and Mycoplasma spp. in cases of suspected chorioamnionitis. This assay also detected cfDNA from Lactobacillus spp. in controls. Comparison between maternal plasma and umbilical cord plasma confirmed these signatures were also present in maternal plasma. Unbiased analysis of microorganisms with significantly correlated signal between matched maternal plasma and umbilical cord plasma identified the above listed 3 microorganisms, all of which have previously been implicated in patients with chorioamnionitis (Mycoplasma hominis p = 0.0001; Ureaplasma parvum p = 0.002; Streptococcus mitis p = 0.007). These data show that the pathogen signal relevant for chorioamnionitis can be identified in both maternal and umbilical cord plasma.

Conclusion

This is the first report showing the detection of relevant microbial cell-free cfDNA in maternal plasma and umbilical cord plasma in patients with clinical and/or histological chorioamnionitis. These results may lead to the development of a specific assay to detect perinatal infections for targeted therapy to reduce early neonatal sepsis complications.

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<![CDATA[The SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 expression of maternal-fetal interface and fetal organs by single-cell transcriptome study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N6fc22072-15f3-4c64-b34f-34474f5cf931

The new type of pneumonia caused by the SARS-CoV-2 (Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) has been declared as a global public health concern by WHO. As of April 3, 2020, more than 1,000,000 human infections have been diagnosed around the world, which exhibited apparent person-to-person transmission characteristics of this virus. The capacity of vertical transmission in SARS-CoV-2 remains controversial recently. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is now confirmed as the receptor of SARS-CoV-2 and plays essential roles in human infection and transmission. In present study, we collected the online available single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) data to evaluate the cell specific expression of ACE2 in maternal-fetal interface as well as in multiple fetal organs. Our results revealed that ACE2 was highly expressed in maternal-fetal interface cells including stromal cells and perivascular cells of decidua, and cytotrophoblast and syncytiotrophoblast in placenta. Meanwhile, ACE2 was also expressed in specific cell types of human fetal heart, liver and lung, but not in kidney. And in a study containing series fetal and post-natal mouse lung, we observed ACE2 was dynamically changed over the time, and ACE2 was extremely high in neonatal mice at post-natal day 1~3. In summary, this study revealed that the SARS-CoV-2 receptor was widely spread in specific cell types of maternal-fetal interface and fetal organs. And thus, both the vertical transmission and the placenta dysfunction/abortion caused by SARS-CoV-2 need to be further carefully investigated in clinical practice.

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<![CDATA[Admitting privileges and hospital‐based care after presenting for abortion: A retrospective case series]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N9110bea9-c4e2-4049-81c2-d327a710c592

Objective

To examine the pathways of care for abortion patients transferred or referred to emergency departments (EDs) or hospitals before and after abortion‐providing physicians obtained hospital admitting privileges.

Data Sources

This case series was based on retrospective chart review at three abortion clinics in which physicians had obtained admitting privileges in the previous 5 years.

Study Design

We identified patients who were transferred or referred to a hospital or ED. Patients were grouped according to the pathway by which their care was transferred or referred to the ED/hospital.

Principal Findings

Both before and after admitting privileges, the majority of patients were referred to a hospital before the abortion was attempted and most were for suspected ectopic pregnancy or to perform the abortion in a hospital. Direct ambulance transfer from the facility to the ED/hospital was the least common pathway. We observed few changes in practice from before to after admitting privileges. Preexisting mechanisms of coordination and communication facilitated care that was tailored for the specific patient.

Conclusions

We did not find evidence that physician admitting privileges influenced the pathways through which abortion patients obtain hospital‐based care, as existing mechanisms of collaboration between hospitals and abortion facilities allowed for management of patients who sought hospital‐based care.

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<![CDATA[Cesarean overuse and the culture of care]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N0d8f1dbc-7d58-4aac-9354-ceed81b7ed65

Objective

To assess hospital unit culture and clinician attitudes associated with varying rates of primary cesarean delivery.

Data Sources/Study Setting

Intrapartum nurses, midwives, and physicians recruited from 79 hospitals in California participating in efforts to reduce cesarean overuse.

Study Design

Labor unit culture and clinician attitudes measured using a survey were linked to the California Maternal Data Center for birth outcomes and hospital covariates.

Methods

Association with primary cesarean delivery rates was assessed using multivariate Poisson regression adjusted for hospital covariates.

Principal Findings

1718 respondents from 70 hospitals responded to the Labor Culture Survey. The “Unit Microculture” subscale was strongly associated with primary cesarean rate; the higher a unit scored on 8‐items describing a culture supportive of vaginal birth (eg, nurses are encouraged to spend time in rooms with patients, and doulas are welcomed), the cesarean rate decreased by 41 percent (95% CI = −47 to −35 percent, P < 0.001). Discordant attitudes between nurses and physicians were associated with increased cesarean rates.

Conclusions

Hospital unit culture, clinician attitudes, and consistency between professions are strongly associated with primary cesarean rates. Improvement efforts to reduce cesarean overuse must address culture of care as a key part of the change process.

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<![CDATA[Would you like to participate in this trial? The practice of informed consent in intrapartum research in the last 30 years]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Na45ec8a9-d35b-4ecd-a654-0f10371697fd

Background

Informed consent is the cornerstone of the ethical conduct and protection of the rights and wellbeing of participants in clinical research. Therefore, it is important to identify the most appropriate moments for the participants to be informed and to give consent, so that they are able to make a responsible and autonomous decision. However, the optimal timing of consent in clinical research during the intrapartum period remains controversial, and currently, there is no clear guidance.

Objective

We aimed to describe practices of informed consent in intrapartum care clinical research in the last three decades, as reported in uterotonics for postpartum haemorrhage prevention trials.

Methods

This is a secondary analysis of the studies included in the Cochrane review entitled “Uterotonic agents for preventing postpartum haemorrhage: a network meta-analysis” published in 2018. All the reports included in the Cochrane network meta-analysis were eligible for inclusion in this analysis, except for those reported in languages other than English, French or Spanish. We extracted and synthesized data on the time each of the components of the informed consent process occurred.

Results

We assessed data from 192 studies, out of 196 studies included in the Cochrane review. The majority of studies (59.9%, 115 studies) reported that women were informed about the study, without specifying the timing. When reported, most studies informed women at admission to the facility for childbirth. Most of the studies reported that consent was sought, but only 59.9% reported the timing, which in most of the cases, was at admission for childbirth. Among these, 32 studies obtained consent in the active phase of labour, 17 in the latent phase and in 10 studies the labour status was unknown. Women were consented antenatally in 6 studies and in 8 studies the consent was obtained indistinctly during antenatal care or at admission. Most of the studies did not specified who was the person who sought the informed consent.

Conclusion

Practices of informed consent in trials on use of uterotonics for prevention of postpartum haemorrhage showed variability and substandard reporting. Informed consent sought at admission for childbirth was the most frequent approach implemented in these trials.

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<![CDATA[Prevalence of anaemia and low intake of dietary nutrients in pregnant women living in rural and urban areas in the Ashanti region of Ghana]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N7036aac7-9527-4ec9-a4ca-1b112d15d377

Background

Anaemia remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality among women and children worldwide. Because deficiencies in essential micronutrients such as iron, folate and vitamin B12 prior to and during gestation increase a woman’s risk of being anaemic, adequate dietary intake of such nutrients is vital during this important phase in life. However, information on the dietary micronutrient intakes of pregnant women in Ghana, particularly of those resident in rural areas is scanty. Thus, this study aimed to assess anaemia prevalence and dietary micronutrient intakes in pregnant women in urban and rural areas in Ghana.

Methods

A comparative cross sectional study design involving 379 pregnant women was used to assess the prevalence of anaemia and low intake of dietary nutrients in pregnant women living in rural and urban areas in the Ashanti region of Ghana. Anaemia status and mid upper arm circumference (MUAC) were used as proxy for maternal nutritional status. Haemoglobin measurements were used to determine anaemia prevalence and the dietary diversity of the women were determined with a 24-hour dietary recall and a food frequency questionnaire.

Results

Overall, anaemia was present in 56.5% of the study population. Anaemia prevalence was higher among rural residents than urban dwellers. Majority of the respondents had inadequate intakes of iron, zinc, folate, calcium and vitamin A. The mean dietary diversity score (DDS) of the study population from the first 24-hour recall was 3.81 ± 0.7. Of the 379 women, 28.8% met the minimum dietary diversity for women (MDD-W). The independent predictors of haemoglobin concentration were, gestational age, maternal age and dietary diversity score. Such that respondents with low DDS were more likely to be anaemic than those with high DDS (OR = 1.795, p = 0.022, 95% CI: 1.086 to 2.967).

Conclusions

A large percentage of pregnant women still have insufficient dietary intakes of essential nutrients required to support the nutritional demands during pregnancy. Particularly, pregnant women resident in rural areas require interventions such as nutrition education on the selection and preparation of diversified meals to mitigate the effects of undernutrition.

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<![CDATA[Predicting resource-dependent maternal health outcomes at a referral hospital in Zanzibar using patient trajectories and mathematical modeling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823d5d5eed0c4846390ee

Poor intra-facility maternity care is a major contributor to maternal mortality in low- and middle-income countries. Close to 830 women die each day due to preventable maternal complications, partly due to the increasing number of women giving birth in health facilities that are not adequately resourced to manage growing patient populations. Barriers to adequate care during the ‘last mile’ of healthcare delivery are attributable to deficiencies at multiple levels: education, staff, medication, facilities, and delays in receiving care. Moreover, the scope and multi-scale interdependence of these factors make individual contributions of each challenging to analyze, particularly in settings where basic data registration is often lacking. To address this need, we have designed and implemented a novel systems-level and dynamic mathematical model that simulates the impact of hospital resource allocations on maternal mortality rates at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital (MMH), a referral hospital in Zanzibar, Tanzania. The purpose of this model is to provide a rigorous and flexible tool that enables hospital administrators and public health officials to quantitatively analyze the impact of resource constraints on patient outcomes within the maternity ward, and prioritize key areas for further human or capital investment. Currently, no such tool exists to assist administrators and policy makers with effective resource allocation and planning. This paper describes the structure and construct of the model, provides validation of the assumptions made with anonymized patient data and discusses the predictive capacity of our model. Application of the model to specific resource allocations, maternal treatment plans, and hospital loads at MMH indicates through quantitative results that medicine stocking schedules and staff allocations are key areas that can be addressed to reduce mortality by up to 5-fold. With data-driven evidence provided by the model, hospital staff, administration, and the local ministries of health can enact policy changes and implement targeted interventions to improve maternal health outcomes at MMH. While our model is able to determine specific gaps in resources and health care delivery specifically at MMH, the model should be viewed as an additional tool that may be used by other facilities seeking to analyze and improve maternal health outcomes in resource constrained environments.

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<![CDATA[The role of the erythrocyte in the outcome of pregnancy with preeclampsia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897713d5eed0c4847d23cc

The objective of this study was to analyze the relationships of osmotic and mechanical stability of erythrocytes with anthropometric, biochemical, hematologic and hemodynamic variables in pregnant women with preeclampsia (PE). The studied population consisted of 20 normotensive patients and 16 patients with PE. Patients with PE presented worse gestational outcome, greater hematologic impairment, erythrocytes osmotically more stable in vitro, but in conditions of isotonicity with the in vivo medium, in addition to hyperflow in orbital territory, when compared to normotensive patients. The correlation analysis between anthropometric, hematologic and hemodynamic variables in patients with PE indicated that erythrocytes with lower volumes and lower levels of hemoglobin favor the occurrence of a better gestational outcome, because they are more stable and because they are associated with a decrease in the hemodynamic changes present in the disease. This should mean that the tendency to microcytosis, probably due to a mechanism of compensatory mechanical selection, is a desirable characteristic in the disease.

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<![CDATA[Dynamics of leukocyte telomere length in pregnant women living with HIV, and HIV-negative pregnant women: A longitudinal observational study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897779d5eed0c4847d2db4

Background

HIV-mediated inflammation and immune activation can accelerate telomere attrition. In addition, antiretrovirals can inhibit telomerase, possibly shortening telomeres. We examined the longitudinal dynamics of leukocyte telomere length (LTL) during pregnancy in a unique cohort of women living with HIV (WLWH) treated with combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), and HIV-negative control women.

Methods

Blood was collected at three visits during pregnancy, at 13–23, >23–30, and >30–40 weeks of gestation, and for WLWH only, at 6 weeks post-partum. LTL was measured by qPCR and both cross-sectional and longitudinal (MANOVA) models were used to examine possible predictors of LTL among participants who attended all three visits during pregnancy.

Results

Among WLWH (n = 64) and HIV-negative women (n = 41), within participant LTL were correlated throughout pregnancy (p<0.001). LTL was shorter among WLWH at first visit, but this difference waned by the second visit. WLWH who discontinued cART post-partum experienced a decrease in LTL. Longitudinally, LTL was similar in both groups and increased as gestation progressed, a change that was more pronounced among women under 35 years. Among WLWH, both smoking throughout pregnancy (p = 0.04) and receiving a ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitor-based regimen (p = 0.03) were independently associated with shorter LTL.

Conclusions

LTL increases as pregnancy progresses; the reasons for this are unknown but may relate to changes in blood volume, hormones, and/or cell subset distribution. While our observations need confirmation in an independent cohort, our data suggest that although some cART regimens may influence LTL, being on cART appears overall protective and that stopping cART post-partum may negatively impact LTL. The effect of smoking on LTL is clearly negative, stressing the importance of smoking cessation.

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