Introduction

Pre-eclampsia is a multisystem disorder which classically presents with systemic hypertension and proteinuria. Various criteria have been used to define severe pre-eclampsia; those shown in Table 1 select a group of women at greatest risk of maternal and fetal complications. The last four United Kingdom Confidential

Enquiries into Maternal Deaths have recommended that women with severe disease should be managed in appropriately staffed units with intensive care facilities. These women should be cared for by multidisciplinary teams, each comprising an experienced obstetrician, an anesthetist, and, when appropriate, an intensive care specialist. One of the aims of such a team is to set guidelines for management in consultation with the regional center. Such guidelines would assist trainee obstetricians and anesthetists to attain a consistent and safe level of care.

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Table 1 Patient criteria for high-dependency care

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