Eclampsia in Finland; 2006 to 2010

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Abstract

Introduction.

Eclampsia is a rare but serious threat to maternal and fetal well-being. Magnesium sulfate was introduced in Finland as management of eclampsia in the late 1990s. The aim of this study was to assess the incidence of eclampsia in Finland after the increased use of magnesium sulfate.

Material and methods.

Eclampsia diagnoses in Finland during 2006 to 2010 were retrieved from the national Medical Birth Register and the Care Register for Health Care. Medical records were reviewed.

Results.

In 2006–10, 295 447 deliveries were registered in Finland and 46 women with eclampsia were identified. Hence, the incidence of eclampsia was 1.5 per 10 000 deliveries. The median gestational age at the time of eclampsia was 38 gestational weeks. There were no maternal deaths due to eclampsia, but 46% of the women had severe complications. Eighty-seven per cent received magnesium sulfate for treatment and 7% for prevention of eclampsia. The perinatal mortality rate was 8%. Thirty-four per cent of the newborns were preterm and 15% were small-for-gestational-age.

Conclusions.

The incidence of eclampsia in Finland was very low. Increased use of magnesium sulfate probably contributed to the low incidence, as well as to the low number of recurrent seizures and prolonged complications. However, some women at risk of eclampsia still remain undetected and untreated. Seven percent had magnesium sulfate for prevention of eclampsia. Increased use of prophylactic magnesium sulfate might further reduce the incidence of eclampsia.

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