Maternal Trauma During
the First Trimester
Miscarriage is a common event, normally occurring in one out of every 5 or 6 pregnancies. While trauma can cause 1st trimester pregnancy loss, it is exceedingly rare in comparison with other causes of miscarriage.
Catastrophic trauma includes such types of injury as maternal death, hemorrhagic shock, multiple compound fractures of the extremities, liver and spleen ruptures, to name a few. Catastrophic trauma during the first trimester is often associated with subsequent miscarriage.
Non-catastrophic trauma includes bumps, bruises, fractures of small bones (fingers, toes), minor burns, etc. While such non-catastrophic injuries may be serious enough to require treatment, they are not associated with miscarriages.
Maternal Trauma During the Second and
The severity of the maternal injury may not correlate well with the frequency of adverse pregnancy outcome. Even minor trauma can have very serious consequences for the pregnancy.
The adverse effects, when they occur, are immediate (within the first few days of the trauma). There is probably no increased risk of preterm delivery, depressed Apgar scores, cesarean section or neonatal length of stay, after excluding the following immediate adverse effects:
Uterine contractions following trauma are common, although premature delivery caused by preterm labor is not. Actual preterm delivery resulting from premature labor (in the absence of abruption) probably occurs no more frequently among traumatized women than the general population.
OB-GYN 101: Introductory
Obstetrics & Gynecology
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