Anaphylaxis is rare complication of pregnancy

December 18, 2017

(HealthDay)—Anaphylaxis is a rare complication of pregnancy, with an estimated incidence of 1.6 per 100,000 maternities, according to a study published online Nov. 29 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Stephen J. McCall, from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a population-based descriptive study using the U.K. Obstetric Surveillance System to examine the incidence of in pregnancy and to describe its management and outcomes.

The researchers identified 37 confirmed cases of anaphylaxis, for an estimated incidence of 1.6 per 100,000 maternities. Four cases occurred in women with known penicillin allergies: two received co-amoxiclav, and two received cephalosporins. Anaphylaxis occurred after prophylactic use of antibiotics at the time of delivery among 12 women. In one woman, prophylactic use of antibiotics for Group B Streptococcal infection accounted for anaphylaxis. Two women died (5 percent), and 14 and seven were admitted to and had one or more additional severe maternal morbidities, respectively (38 and 19 percent, respectively). None of the infants died; among the 18 infants whose mothers had anaphylaxis before delivery, there were seven unit admissions.

"This study highlights the seriousness of the outcomes of this condition for the mother," the authors write. "The low incidence is reassuring given the large proportion of the pregnant population that [receives] during delivery."

Explore further: Food-induced anaphylaxis common among children despite adult supervision

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