To evaluate the safety, acceptability and cost of a community-based home-care program for the management of mild pre-eclampsia.
A descriptive study of outcomes between Apr. 1, 1985, and Dec. 31, 1989.
St. Boniface General Hospital, Winnipeg.
Urban Winnipeg residents between 27 and 40 weeks' gestation with mild pre-eclampsia who demonstrated acceptance and compliance with home-care management; 321 patients of 1330 were enrolled in the program.
Bed rest at home with daily biochemical and biophysical follow-up protocol and weekly clinic visits; patient education; hospital admission for labour, induction, worsening pre-eclampsia or noncompliance with rest at home.
Patterns of referral to the program; clinical, biochemical and biophysical profiles; incidence of severe complications; reduction in total hospital stay and cost analysis.
As many women were referred from physicians' offices as were referred from the hospital's antepartum unit, the average gestational age at referral being 36 weeks. Most (205 [64%]) of the women were nulliparous. The average length of stay in the program was 11.5 days. The program's availability resulted in a reduction of 2 days (from 5.7 days to 3.7 days) on average in the length of hospital stay when analysed for all 1330 women with pre-eclampsia. Of the 321 patients in the program 137 (43%) were admitted to hospital for worsening pre-eclampsia; severe pre-eclampsia developed 4 days after admission in 9. No patient suffered eclampsia, disseminated intravascular coagulopathy, abruption or fetal loss related to pre-eclampsia while in the program. The estimated cost saving in the management of pre-eclampsia was over $700,000 over the study period.
The community-based home-care program is a safe, feasible and less costly alternative to hospital admission in the management of mild pre-eclampsia.
Cites: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 1984 Apr 7;288(6423):1046-76423192
Cites: Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1986 Sep;155(3):501-93529964