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Trauma In Pregnancy: Double Jeopardy (2008)

July 2008

Trauma occurs in approximately 5% of pregnancies.1 These cases can be challenging for an emergency physician to manage for several reasons. The well-being of 2 patients, the mother and fetus, must be considered simultaneously. The normal physiologic and anatomic changes associated with pregnancy can make the detection of hemorrhagic shock challenging. The need to perform diagnostic x-rays for the mother must be weighed against the risk of radiation exposure to the developing fetus. Important diagnoses that are unique to pregnancy such as abruption of the placenta and preterm labor may occur even after minor trauma.

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