Primary Article

Maternal Mortality Associated With Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Authors: KENNETH G. PERRY JR. MD, RICK W. MARTIN MD, PAMELA G. BLAKE RN, MSN, WILLIAM E. ROBERTS MD, JAMES N. MARTIN JR. MD

Abstract

Abstract Background.Pregnancy-related adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) can lead to maternal mortality and morbidity. Methods.Records of all pregnant patients diagnosed with ARDS over a 14-year period were reviewed and the cases were stratified into survivors and nonsurvivors. Results.Forty-one cases were identified and 31 survived (maternal mortality rate of 24.4%). Adult respiratory distress syndrome was diagnosed in the antepartum period in 23 (56.1%) of the patients and the majority of these cases occurred in the third trimester (73.9%). There was no statistically significant difference in demographic characteristics, preexisting diseases, or probable precipitating cause for the development of ARDS between the two groups. The cause of death among the nonsurvivors included multisystem organ failure, sepsis, cardiac arrest, and disseminated intravascular coagulopathy. Conclusion.Pregnancy-related ARDS continues to be associated with a high maternal mortality rate (25%). Unfortunately, the etiology for ARDS during pregnancy is not predictive of maternal outcome.

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