While for many, pregnancy goes without any complications, for some things can get tricky. Usually, when it is a medical emergency such as bleeding, breathing trouble and trauma, most people know that they have to head towards the nearest emergency room (ER). However, during pregnancy, a woman is often tossed between where to seek help in an emergency whether her attending obstetrician or the nearest emergency department. Many times, pregnant women end up in the emergency rooms in a vulnerable state.
Obstetrician emergencies often cannot be single-handedly tackled by emergency physicians. They also require the expertise of a specialist or obstetrician, a physician who specializes in pregnancy and pregnancy-related complications. As a layman, it is hard to distinguish whom to seek help from in an emergency.
Pregnancy emergencies presented in ER
An exceptionally high blood pressure, profuse bleeding, preterm labour, infections, epilepsy and other conditions can cause panic during pregnancy. It is natural for the patient to head towards the nearest emergency room. However, not all pregnancy complications will be handled alone by the ER team. Many times, the patient might be given the initial treatment, stabilized and then later referred to a specialist.
As per experts, at what gestation age one has developed a complication will also decide how effective an emergency room might be for the treatment.
In cases where the specialist is not easily accessible, it is a good idea to find initial help in the emergency room. The following are some obstetric emergencies that can arise during the gestation period.
Miscarriage- the loss of a baby before 20 weeks of gestation can be termed a miscarriage. Once it has started, it cannot be stopped. The mother might need urgent treatment for an infection or a procedure for the removal of tissue.
Ectopic pregnancy- when the fertilized egg starts to grow in the fallopian tube in place of the uterus, it can result in serious bleeding.
Placental abruption- when the placenta separates from the uterus before birth, it can result in serious bleeding, pain and contractions.
Premature rupture of amniotic fluid, pregnancy-induced high blood pressure (which can lead to kidney and liver failure), convulsions and injuries are other complications that can arise.
Signs to look for an obstetric emergency
While pregnancy is a roller coaster of bodily changes. Not all changes are serious but some symptoms need prompt medical attention.
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Heavy bleeding with cramping or severe abdominal pain