Innovations in vital signs measurement for the detection of hypertension and shock in pregnancy

Nicola Vousden*, Hannah L. Nathan, Andrew H. Shennan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
158 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Approximately 820 women die in pregnancy and childbirth every day worldwide, with 99% of these occurring in low-resource settings. The most common causes of maternal mortality are haemorrhage, sepsis and hypertensive disorders. There are established, effective solutions to these complications, however challenges remain in identifying who is at greatest risk and ensuring that interventions are delivered early when they have the greatest potential to benefit. Measuring vital signs is the first step in identifying women at risk. Overstretched or poorly trained staff and inadequate access to accurate, reliable equipment to measure vital signs can potentially result in delayed treatment initiation. Early warning systems may help alert users to identify patients at risk, especially where novel technologies can improve usability by automating calculations and alerting users to abnormalities. This may be of greatest benefit in under-resourced settings where task-sharing is common and early identification of complications can allow for prioritisation of life-saving interventions. This paper highlights the challenges of accurate vital sign measurement in pregnancy and identifies innovations which may improve detection of pregnancy complications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number92
JournalReproductive Health
Volume15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2018

Keywords

  • Hypertension
  • Low resource
  • Pregnancy
  • Shock index
  • Vital signs

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