In Practice

Severe hypertension in pregnancy: Using dynamic checklists to save lives

Jack Moodley, N C Ngene

Abstract


Severe hypertension is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. The South African Saving Mothers report (2011 - 2013) indicates that cerebral injury due to severe hypertension is resulting in avoidable maternal deaths. This demands that management of severe hypertension in pregnancy needs to be improved. A rapid-acting antihypertensive is recommended for the initial management of severe hypertension during pregnancy. A single dose of a rapid-acting agent may be ineffective, in which case incremental doses of the same medication or another antihypertensive may be required for adequate blood pressure control. To ensure that appropriate antihypertensives at the correct doses are administered, the use of a guideline in a dynamic checklist format is advocated and discussed in this article. It is envisaged that the use of dynamic checklists will be valuable to all healthcare professionals providing care during pregnancy and the puerperium.


Authors' affiliations

Jack Moodley, Women’s Health and HIV Research Group, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Clinical Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

N C Ngene, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Clinical Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Full Text

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Keywords

Severe hypertension; Pregnancy; Morbidity; Mortality; Dynamic checklists

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2016;106(8):767-770. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2016.v106i8.10908

Article History

Date submitted: 2016-04-13
Date published: 2016-07-01

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