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Obstetric Emergencies


No specialty of medicine is more inundated with emergencies than obstetrics. This paper describes a number of the more common obstetric emergencies from a practical and rural practitioner standpoint. Obstetrics is unique in that there are two patients to consider and care for. This paper discusses basic emergency care, obstetric and fetal assessment, preterm labor, premature rupture of membranes, severe preeclampsia, eclampsia, prolapsed umbilical cord, antepartum hemorrhage, abortion with hemorrhagic shock, ectopic pregnancy with shock, acute abdominal pain during pregnancy, DIC, uterine inversion, postpartum hemorrhage, retained placenta, abdominal pregnancy, shoulder dystocia, amniotic fluid embolism, trauma, CPR during pregnancy, postmortem cesarean section, cesarean section with local or no anesthesia, and transport of the obstetric patient.