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Blunt trauma is the most common type of trauma in pregnancy, being caused mainly by road traffic accidents. Different mechanisms of injury give rise to a variety of injury patterns. Blunt forces commonly cause compression injuries, particularly laceration or fracture of solid organs. Sudden deceleration and consequent shearing forces cause avulsion of peritoneal attachments or arteries. Rapid increase in abdominal pressure, for example from a seat belt, can result in hollow viscus rupture or rib or pelvic fractures and cause laceration injuries.
Trauma is a leading cause of non-obstetric maternal death. Blunt trauma and penetrating trauma are the two major mechanisms of injury. The initial sequence of trauma resuscitation follows the standard ABCDE approach to trauma: (i) airway maintenance with cervical spine protection (ii) breathing and ventilation (iii) circulation with haemorrhage control (iv) disability: neurological status (v) exposure and environmental control. The risk of ionising radiation depends on gestation and exposure intensity, which in turn depends on the number of rads used and the number of times a procedure is performed. Fetal maternal haemorrhage (FMH) occurs in up to 30 percentage of obstetric trauma patients. Despite advances in trauma management, education has been shown to be one of the most effective techniques in decreasing mortality. Education must focus on seatbelt use, domestic violence, and drug and alcohol abuse.