oa Cardiovascular Journal of Africa - Cardiac disease during pregnancy - a Free State perspective on maternal morbidity and mortality



Aim. Description of maternal outcome of pregnancies complicated by cardiac disease. Setting. Pelonomi Hospital, Bloemfontein. Population. Black African women of low socio-economic background who presented with cardiac disease during pregnancy. Sample. All patients who delivered from 1 January 1990 to 1 January 1995. Design. Descriptive retrospective study. Results. Cardiac disease complicated 0.6% of pregnancies. Rheumatic valvular disease dominated in this population. The maternal mortality rate was 9.5 % while the maternal morbidity rate ranged from 50% to 100% for the various lesions. Conclusions. Cardiac disease in pregnancy has high maternal mortality and morbidity rates. Hypertension, anticoagulation therapy, late referrals and inadequate counselling were important contributing factors. A high priority should be given to meticulous contraceptive counselling in patients with cardiac disease. Collaboration between obstetricians, physicians and cardiothoracic surgeons is imperative.


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