Traumatic injuries are the most common cause of maternal mortality in the United States. While only 6 to 8% of pregnancies are affected by trauma, these injuries are responsible for about 20% of maternal deaths. The most common cause of maternal death related to trauma is motor vehicle collision, accounting for roughly two-thirds of the deaths. Domestic violence and falls also account for a significant number of deaths. Further, it is estimated that drugs and alcohol are involved in 20% of maternal trauma. Trauma in the pregnant patient results in several unique challenges. There are significant physiological and anatomical changes in the pregnant patient. These alterations impact clinical assessment, interpretation of diagnostic studies, patient management, and the type of injuries that may occur. With the exception of anesthesiologists, trauma team clinicians and staff typically have little training or experience in the care of the pregnant patient. Therefore, a multi-disciplinary approach involving the trauma surgeon, anesthesiologist, obstetrician, and other members of the trauma team, is important for optimal patient care. Perhaps the most unique challenge is simultaneously caring for two patients, fetus and mother. In doing so, it is critical to recall that the best strategy in caring for both patients is to optimize the treatment and resuscitation of the mother.
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