Early post partum discharge: is it possible?

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ObjectivesTo characterize maternal post partum complications and to identify risk factors for the development of post partum complications in low risk parturients.Study designThe first part of our research was a case study only. It included low risk parturients identified using a computerized database who developed post partum complication between the years 2000 and 2003 (n = 136). The second part of the study was in a case-control format. The control group consisted of low risk parturients who gave birth during the same time period and did not develop post partum complications (n = 31,211).ResultsFever was the most common complication (36%) identified, with a mean delivery to complication time of 31.1 h. Excessive vaginal bleeding (22%) was diagnosed earlier, with a mean delivery to complication time of 4.2 h. The risk factors for complications identified were the following: first delivery, fifth delivery or more and cesarean delivery in the past (P = 0.009 and 0.002, respectively).ConclusionThe results of this study support the possibility of early discharge for women in a predefined low-risk group. Most of the complications that may occur after discharge do not pose an immediate threat and afford the patient enough time to safely reach the hospital. Most of the complications in a low risk parturient group occur within 6 h post partum and may allow consideration of an early discharge policy.

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