n South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology - Reducing maternal mortality : systolic blood pressure : research article

Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0038-2329
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



<I>Objective.</I> To establish whether systolic blood pressure management outlined in hospital guidelines for the management of severe pre-eclampsia and eclampsia is in line with national recommendations. <BR><I>Design.</I> A survey of obstetric unit guidelines for the management of severe pre-eclampsia and eclampsia. <BR><I>Sample.</I> Obstetric units in the UK. <BR><I>Methods.</I> Postal request to all UK obstetric units requesting a copy of their guidelines for management of severe pre-eclampsia and eclampsia. Guidelines were compared with published recommendations with r egard to the management and monitoring of blood pressure. <BR><I>Results.</I> A total of 108 units sent guidelines for review (47.6%), and 73 different guidelines were assessed. Four guidelines (5.5%) failed to provide a definition of severe hypertension. There was considerable variation in the level of blood pressure used as a target during treatment with antihypertensive medication and 32 (43.8%) of the guidelines did not specify a target blood pressure. Only 34 (46.6%) guidelines contained clear recommendations on the speed with which blood pressure should be reduced. <BR><I>Conclusions.</I> The danger of high systolic blood pressure continues to be under-acknowledged by clinicians.

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