Maternal Emergencies

So this is the first of a pregnancy related double-header, with the focus being firmly set on the mother this month and next month we’ll focus in on NLS.

This month though we’re going to be discussing maternal emergencies. Now many conditions that could fall into this category but, as much as we love a good yarn, we really can’t be here all day, so we’ve decided to focus on are the conditions that we are more likely to come across in either prehospital or EM practice. Those conditions in which we can make a really big difference to either the mum or the baby.

We’re talking antepartum haemorrhage, postpartum haemorrhage, cord prolapse, breech presentation and shoulder dystocia, all after we’ve set the scene on assisting with an uncomplicated delivery.

So what would be really good is if we could find someone to bring in some prehospital maternal experience too. Ideally, someone qualified as a midwidfe and paramedic…and we’re incredibly lucky to have just that in Aimee Yarrington, who has joined us for the podcast!

As a background; PPH is the third leading cause of maternal death in the UK and the most common cause of obstetric-related intensive care admissions. APH complicates 3–5% of pregnancies and is a leading cause of perinatal and maternal mortality worldwide. Cord prolapse ranges from 0.1% to 0.6%. Breech presentation occurs in 3–4% of term deliveries. Shoulder dystocia has a reported incidence of around 0.70%. And the incidence of primary PPH continues to rise progressively in the UK, reaching as high as 13.8% in 2012–2013. So there’s a good reason for us to be experts on these topics.

Let us know any thought and comments you have on the podcast.


Simon, James & Aimee

Now that you have listened to the podcast, start the quiz to add it to your CPD Diary

Antepartum Haemorrhage; RCOG

Umbilical Cord Prolapse; RCOG

Management of a Breech Presentation; RCOG

Shoulder Dystocia; RCOG

Post Partum Haemorrhage guidelines; RCOG

Course Content


  • I got the question about shoulder dystopia wrong because you have brachial plexus injury down as a fatal injury

  • An amazing podcast. Learnt so much. It has been put across in such simple terms and easily understood with lots of great tips along with clarification of the different presentations. Thank you well worth a listen. Look forward to the next podcast.

  • Very good podcast. Aimee is brilliant in the way she explained all the complicated procedures in an audio podcast!
    Looking forward to neonatal resuscitation next month !!

  • Truly excellent podcast with first rate interviewee. Shoulder dystocia question in the quiz needs fixed. many thanks.

  • Excellent podcast!! You are talkning about right lateral position, is there a physiological reason for right lateral? If I got it correct the reason for this was for turning the patient towards you. In my ambulance(from Sweden) I turn the patient towards me with left lateral.

  • Fantastic podcast. Was great to hear Aimee discuss the topics with such enthusiasm and knowledge.
    All your podcasts are excellent. This one was just a little better.

  • If the baby is born in the sack in a pre hospital environment would an ambulance crew then open the sack?

  • Hi guys, really loved this episode as it helped clear up a lot of uncertainty with maternity as lately I have seemed to have a string of maternity jobs laterly (Including a cord prolapse!) and wanted to ensure my knowledge is top tier!

    Just a quick question on TXA. I appreciate the rationale for withholding TXA in antepartum haemorrhage however, is there a role for TXA in a known miscarriage with significant haemorrhage?

  • As normal a fantastic podcast. This has been very helpful as currently doing my obstetrics training as part of my Paramedic Programme with LAS.

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