A survey of current practices in the care of high risk obstetric patients
Dorman, Karen F.
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This descriptive, nonexperimental study was conducted to determine in what units are critically-ill obstetric patients cared for, who is providing that care, how nurses are prepared and if a difference exists between labor and delivery units with and without a formal OBICU. A questionnaire was mailed to 338 labor and delivery nurse managers in hospitals with over 3,000 deliveries/year or an affiliation with a maternal-fetal medicine specialist. Chi square was used to determine differences between groups and a t-test to compare frequencies. The results indicated that high risk patients were managed in the labor and delivery units regardless of having an OBICU or not, however the therapy was more intense in the units with a formal OBICU. Hospitals affiliated with medical schools were more likely to have an OBICU and the length of stay in the units was less in units with an OBICU. There were few units which prepared the nurses to work with these patients and invasive modes of therapy.