A new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine indicates that motor vehicle crashes can be hazardous for pregnant women, especially if they are not wearing a seat belt when the accident occurs.
Trauma is a leading cause of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. Blunt abdominal trauma is of particular concern to a pregnant woman and her fetus since it can directly and indirectly harm fetal organs as well as shared maternal and fetal organ systems. Car crashes are responsible for most injuries requiring hospitalization during pregnancy; however, little is known about the relationship between auto accidents and specific fetal outcomes.
The study, which is the largest retrospective state-based study of its kind, looked at data for 878,546 pregnant women aged 16-46 years who gave birth to a single infant in the state of North Carolina between 2001 and 2008. Using vital records and crash reports, investigators were able to study the association among car crashes, vehicle safety features, and adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Investigators focused on four pregnancy outcomes: preterm birth, placental abruption, premature rupture of the membranes, and stillbirth. They found that compared to women who were not involved in an auto accident, pregnant drivers had elevated rates of preterm birth, placental abruption, and premature rupture of the membranes after a single crash.
While previous studies had only looked at the link between one crash and adverse pregnancy outcomes, this new study also looked at women who had been involved in multiple motor vehicle collisions during their pregnancies. Following a second or subsequent crash, investigators found pregnant women had more highly elevated rates of preterm birth, placental abruption, premature rupture of the membranes and stillbirth. The investigators also found that the rates of these unfavorable outcomes increased as the number of crashes increased.
Regardless of the number of crashes, stillbirth rates were elevated following accidents involving unbelted pregnant drivers. "Non-seat belt use and the lack of airbags were associated with elevated rates of selected adverse pregnancy outcomes," explains lead investigator Catherine J. Vladutiu, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina's Gillings School of Global Public Health. "Most notably, the stillbirth rate following a crash involving an unbelted pregnant driver was almost three times as high as the stillbirth rate following a crash involving a belted pregnant driver."
While this new study offers greater insight than existing reports, more population-based studies are necessary to increase understanding of the effect of multiple crashes, seatbelts, and airbags on pregnancy outcomes.
"This study highlights the importance of crashes during pregnancy and their possible adverse effects on pregnancy outcomes. Clinicians should be aware of these effects and should advise pregnant women about the risk of being in a crash and the long-term consequences that crashes can have on their pregnancies," concludes Dr. Vladutiu. "Given the associations that were observed, a better understanding of the circumstances surrounding crashes during pregnancy is needed to develop effective strategies for prevention."
Beverly Lytton | EurekAlert!
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine
25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy