Research Article

Perinatal mortality and morbidity associated with eclampsia.

Br Med J 1978; 2 doi: (Published 22 July 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;2:235
  1. H Wightman,
  2. B M Hibbard,
  3. M Rosen


    Out of all the women who were delivered in Cardiff maternity units during 1965-74, 43 developed eclampsia, an incidence of 72/100 000 deliveries. The incidence in residents of Cardiff was 53/100 000 deliveries. None of the mothers with eclampsia died, but 10 of the 47 babies were lost, all but one having been born to women with antepartum eclampsia. The perinatal deaths were mainly associated with chronic placental insufficiency and preterm delivery. The extent to which the wide range of complex drug regimens used influenced perinatal outcome is not clear, although polypharmacy should be avoided. Because eclampsia is rare we advocate that its management should be planned and rehearsed and that a simple, standardised treatment regimen should be used. Failing placental function may be detected by monitoring fetal growth by ultrasound.