Use of Magnesium Sulfate to Treat Severe Preeclampsia and Eclampsia in Mexico City

Sandra García, Population Council
Marieke G. van Dijk, Population Council
Jorge Armando Valencia Rodríguez, El Colegio de México
Patricio Sanhueza, Ministry of Health, Mexico

To better understand whether magnesium sulfate (MS) is used for women with severe preeclampsia or eclampsia in Mexico City hospitals, we conducted a chart review of women who died of (pre)eclampsia in Mexico City in 2005, 2006 and 2007. We excluded the charts not containing clinical information, bringing us to 92 charts over the three years. Sixty-four women (70%) had gone to two to five medical facilities. In the total of these medical visits, women were diagnosed 54 times with severe preeclampsia. In 12 cases (22%), they were given anticonvulsant treatment with MS (without other anticonvulsant drugs). Women were diagnosed 61 times with eclampsia and given MS (only) in five cases (8%). More common was the treatment with phenytoin, a combination of drugs or no anticonvulsant treatment at all. Despite clear evidence that MS is indicated in severe preeclampsia and eclampsia, the drug is not used routinely in Mexico City.

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Presented in Session 184: Reducing Maternal Mortality in Africa and Latin America