International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology

International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology ISSN 2736-1594, Vol. 11 (7), pp. 001-009, July, 2023. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Obstetric trauma admissions in a level 1 trauma centre in South Africa: a 5-year retrospective review

Brian Madikizela1, Douglas Motshekga2 and John Mgoqi3

1School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

2Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa.

3Department of Anaesthesia and Peri-operative Medicine, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Queensland, Australia.

Accepted 05 December, 2022


Purpose: The accurate incidence of trauma in pregnancy is not well known, but trauma complicates 6 to 8% of pregnancies and it is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in pregnancy and remains the most common cause of fetal mortality worldwide. Methods: A retrospective review of data of all pregnant patients admitted to Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital from 01 January 2015 to 31 December 2019 with trauma. Data collected included demographic data, mechanisms of injury, clinical interventions, as well as maternal and fetal outcomes. Results: Data of 800 patients was included in the study during the five-year period. The mean age was 31.00 years and the mean gestational age was 26.00 weeks. The majority of patients were black Africans (89.1%). Five hundred and sixty-two patients were of single marital status (70.3%) and 484 identified as unemployed (60.5%). Assaults were the most frequent cause of trauma (41.3%), followed by falls (33.1%) and motor vehicle accidents (25.5%). Conclusion: Trauma in pregnancy is associated with significant morbidity and negative pregnancy outcomes. The implementation of strategies aimed at detecting and preventing intimate partner violence as well as road safety may contribute significantly to a reduction of maternal and fetal mortality.

Keywords: Trauma, pregnancy, gender-based violence, blunt abdominal trauma, penetrating abdominal trauma, pregnancy outcomes, Critical care.