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More and more high-risk pregnancies

(Vienna, 24th April 2014) The number of high-risk pregnancies is growing. The reasons for this are that mothers-to-be are getting older, and there are more and more pregnant women who have diabetes, obesity or cardiovascular disease. Consequently, even closer collaboration between various medical professions during pregnancy and the birth is called for. This is the warning issued by Klaus Markstaller, Director of the Department of Anaesthetics, General Intensive Care Medicine and Pain Therapy, and Peter Husslein, Director of the Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, both from the MedUni Vienna, at a press conference held today, Thursday, on the eve of the Obstetrics Anaesthesiology Symposium being held on 25 and 26 April in Vienna.


This event will welcome highly respected Austrian and international experts from a variety of disciplines and they will meet to develop and discuss joint strategies and standards for the care of pregnant women. Says Markstaller: “The aim is to achieve a higher degree of safety for our patients.” 
The co-morbidities of pregnant women not only demand close collaboration between the core disciplines of obstetrics and obstetric anaesthetics, but also require input from other specialist disciplines into modern perinatal medicine. Just how important it is to involve different disciplines is illustrated by the fact that maternal mortality rates from cardiac causes in the industrialised world have doubled over recent years.


“It is thanks to advances in modern medicine that pregnancy, childbirth and a family have actually become possible for many women despite underlying co-morbidities," says the expert from the MedUni Vienna. The change in society towards becoming pregnant later in life is setting new challenges for obstetricians. The number of expectant mothers with health problems is therefore increasing. As a result, pregnancies and births in women who have diabetes, obesity or cardiovascular disease are associated with additional risks that put both mother and child in danger.


Many such specialist cases end up at the MedUni Vienna / Vienna General Hospital. “Births that could involve complications need facilities to allow rapid action to be taken. The treatment of high-risk cases especially not only needs the best possible equipment on hand, but also a highly skilled multi-disciplinary team,” adds Husslein. “Special emergency situations need to be trained for.”


Second Austrian Obstetrics Anaesthesiology Symposium in Vienna
To improve patient safety, the Austrian Obstetrics Anaesthesiology Symposium has been created to facilitate dialogue between the treating medical disciplines. At the second event of this kind, the focus will be on the following topics: “Challenges in training”, “Patient blood management”, “The unexpected emergency” and “Psychiatric illnesses”.


The symposium is being held on 25 and 26 April 2014 (starting at 10 a.m. and 8.30 a.m. respectively) at the MedUni Vienna (Auditorium A, Hörsaalzentrum am Südgarten, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090 Vienna). The event is being jointly organised by the Clinical Department of General Anaesthetics and Intensive Care Medicine, the University Department of Gynaecology (both at the MedUni Vienna / Vienna General Hospital), the Department of Anaesthetics and Surgical Intensive Care (Linz General Hospital) and the Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (Linz State Women’s and Children’s Hospital).