Maternal critical care is a specialty division of a hospital or health care facility that provides intensive treatment to women during pregnancy, child birth and after child birth.
Maternal critical care units (MCCU) cater to patients with severe and life-threatening illnesses developed during pregnancy, child birth or after child birth, which require constant, close monitoring and support from specialist equipment and medications in order to ensure normal bodily functions.
Why Maternal critical care unit?
Maternal critical care need a special emphasis as health condition of a female may need intensive treatment when she is pregnant, during child birth or even after the baby is born. In all these conditions there is an extra concern for the baby in womb (in cases of pregnancy or during childbirth) or the baby as new born (in cases of after child birth). Due to complexity of these facts a multidisciplinary teamwork is required. Multidisciplinary team mostly involves intensivist, anaesthetist, psychologist, neonatologist and obstetrician. These units are staffed by highly trained nurses who specialize in caring for critically ill patients. MCCUs are also distinguished from normal hospital wards by a higher staff-to-patient ratio and access to advanced medical resources and equipment that is not routinely available elsewhere.
In which conditions critical care for mother is required?
There are few obstetric conditions in which critical care is required:
Ruptured ectopic pregnancy
Hyperemesis (intractable / severe vomiting during pregnancy)
Severe anemia in failure
Heart (Cardiac) failure in pregnancy
Epilepsy in pregnancy
Bleeding tendencies (Coagulation failure) in pregnancy
Pregnancy with valve replacement
Pregnancy with vascular thrombosis
Multiple organ failure
How are patients admitted in MCCU?
Patients may be transferred directly to an intensive care unit from an emergency department if required, or from a ward if they rapidly deteriorate, or immediately after surgery if the surgery is very invasive and the patient is at high risk of complications
High dependency unit (HDU): (also known as “step down unit or progressive care unit” or “transitional high dependency unit”) for patients who require close observation, treatment and nursing care that cannot be provided on a general ward, but whose care is not at a critical enough level to warrant an ICU bed. These units are also called step-down, progressive and intensive recovery units and are utilized until a patient’s condition stabilizes enough to qualify them for discharge to a general ward.
What all is done in MCCU?
MCCU is equipped with all the equipments of intensive care unit. Continuous recording of Heart rate, Blood pressure, respiration rate, central venous pressure, temperature is monitored in MCCU. In addition to monitoring of these vital functions critical monitoring of intravenous fluids intake and output is monitored. All required blood parameters analysis e.g. ABG (Arterial blood gas) analysis, other blood parameters like hemoglobin, liver function tests, renal function tests etc are performed within MCCU.