Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Link between car crashes, adverse pregnancy outcomes

Date:
October 8, 2013
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
Motor vehicle crashes can be hazardous for pregnant women, especially if they are not wearing a seat belt when the accident occurs.

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."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Catherine J. Vladutiu, PhD; Stephen W. Marshall, PhD; Charles Poole, ScD; Carri Casteel, PhD; M. Kathryn Menard, MD; and Harold B. Weiss, PhD. Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes Following Motor Vehicle Crashes. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, November 2013

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "Link between car crashes, adverse pregnancy outcomes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131008091230.htm>.
Elsevier. (2013, October 8). Link between car crashes, adverse pregnancy outcomes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131008091230.htm
Elsevier. "Link between car crashes, adverse pregnancy outcomes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131008091230.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Predicting Heart Transplant Rejection With a Blood Test

Predicting Heart Transplant Rejection With a Blood Test

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Now a new approach to rejection of donor organs could change the way doctors predict transplant rejection…without expensive, invasive procedures. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Better Braces That Vibrate

Better Braces That Vibrate

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) The length of time you have to keep your braces on could be cut in half thanks to a new device that speeds up the process. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A new app that can track your heart rate 24/7 is available for download in your app store and its convenience could save your life. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stroke in Young Adults

Stroke in Young Adults

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A stroke can happen at any time and affect anyone regardless of age. This mother chose to give her son independence and continue to live a normal life after he had a stroke at 18 years old. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins