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Maternal Collapse in Pregnancy

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Defined as an acute event resulting in a reduced or absent consciousness and potential cardiac arrest, maternal collapse can occur at any stage of pregnancy and up to six weeks postnatally. It is a rare, life-threatening event with a wide range of possible causes.

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Maternal collapse is a rare, life-threatening event with a wide range of possible causes that may or may not be pregnancy-related. Defined as an acute event resulting in a reduced or absent consciousness and potential cardiac arrest, maternal collapse can occur at any stage of pregnancy and up to six weeks postnatally. With both mother and baby at risk of potentially life-threatening repercussions, prompt recognition and treatment are vital for effective management. In all cases, the wellbeing of the mother should always take priority in acute collapse scenarios, and only once the mother’s condition has been stabilised should action be taken to support the wellbeing of the baby. Fortunately, maternal collapse is rare in Australia and is an emergency that few midwives will see during their careers.

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Meet the educator

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Anne Watkins
Anne is a freelance lecturer and medical writer at Mind Body Ink. She is a former midwife and nurse teacher with over 25 years’ experience working in the fields of healthcare, stress management and medical hypnosis. Her background includes working as a hospital midwife, Critical Care nurse, lecturer in Neonatal Intensive Care, and as a Clinical Nurse Specialist for a company making life support equipment. Anne has also studied many forms of complementary medicine and has extensive experience in the field of clinical hypnosis. She has a special interest in integrating complementary medicine into conventional healthcare settings and is currently an Associate Tutor, lecturing in Health Coaching and Medical Hypnosis at Exeter University in the UK. As a former Midwife, Anne has a natural passion for writing about fertility, pregnancy, birthing and baby care. Her recent publications include The Health Factor, Coach Yourself To Better Health and Positive Thinking For Kids. You can read more about her work at www.MindBodyInk.com.
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What do others think?

257 reviews by Ausmed Learners
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Portrait of Kylie Cutler
Kylie Cutler
18 Dec 2021
Quick and to the point. Very informative.
YF
Yousef Fidah
29 Jan 2022
Useful information that helps increase knowledge
Portrait of Hazel Clarke
Hazel Clarke
17 Dec 2021
This piece was a good concise, review of the risk factors leading up to the rare but catastrophic event of maternal collapse. It was probably worth including AFE and sepsis in a little more detail. However, it was worth noting that the author considered how the physiological changes in pregnancy make resus more challenging, as well as the evidence that maternal collapse is on the rise: not due to declining care, but better reporting and changes in the maternal demographic (older, fatter, unhealthier).
CB
Carol Baker
30 Dec 2021
This reading was both interesting and informative.
DL
Deirdre Louw
22 Jan 2022
Like short to the point learning
LG
Lara Gilroy
06 May 2022
Registered Nurse Registered Midwife
interesting
KK
Kristine kealy
02 Jan 2022
Great information about this type of pregnancy and to keep in mind when you go to these arrests or they come into trauma.
RM
Rhiannon McKenzie
29 Jan 2022
This is an excellent source of professional knowledge
NL
Nicola Lee
15 Mar 2022
Registered Midwife
Good review.
AF
Anna Folkerts
31 Jan 2022
This is a good coverage of the topic, and I hope I never have a woman collapsing like this in the community setting, as the outcome would not be good I expect, being quite time and distance from a hospital.
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