Trajectory of Platelets in Pregnancy: Do Low-risk Women Need an Intrapartum Full Blood Count Prior to Epidural?

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(Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2015;55(5):511–514)

Thrombocytopenia, defined as a platelet count <150×109/L, occurs in 7% to 10% of pregnancies. There is no clear agreement as to whether women who are determined to be low risk for thrombocytopenia need a platelet count before intrapartum epidural analgesia can be administered and awaiting this laboratory value could delay epidural administration. As women typically receive a full blood count around 28 weeks of gestation, the authors of this study sought to determine whether women with normal platelet levels during that routine check-up and overall low risk of thrombocytopenia tended to maintain a normal platelet count up until the peripartum period.

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