Antenatal Emergency Care Provided by Paramedics: A One-Year Clinical Profile

Gayle McLelland, Lisa McKenna, Amee Morgans, Karen Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To report on clinical and socio-demographic factors of a one-year caseload of women attended by a statewide ambulance service in Australia, who presented during pregnancy, prior to the commencement of labor. Methods: Retrospective clinical data collected via in-field electronic patient care record (VACIS®) by paramedics during clinical management was provided by Ambulance Victoria. Cases were electronically extracted from the Ambulance Victoria Clinical Data Warehouse via comprehensive filtering followed by case review. Results: Over a 12-month period, paramedics were called to 2,098 women with pregnancy as a primary or non-primary clinical consideration. Women's ages ranged from 14 to 48 years. The majority were multigravidas (86%). There was a greater chance that ambulance services would be required during business hours than any other time of the day. Paramedics noted pregnant women required ambulance services for a range of primary presenting symptoms both obstetric (n = 1137) and non-obstetric (n = 961). Some women had pre-existing conditions including asthma, hypertension, and diabetes potentially complicating their pregnancies. Paramedics administered analgesia to one third of the women. Paired t-tests revealed significant improvement in the pain relief and overall vital signs of the women encountered. Less than half the women (n = 986, 47%) required interventions. Conclusions: This is a unique population wide analysis of ambulance service resource use exploring the clinical profile of pregnant women requiring ambulance services in one calendar year. To manage obstetric and non-obstetric complications in this population safely and effectively, paramedics require an understanding of the unique physiological adaptions during pregnancy. This study therefore has both educational and practice implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-538
Number of pages8
JournalPrehospital Emergency Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • ambulance
  • antenatal
  • paramedic
  • pregnancy
  • prehospital
  • unplanned

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