Causes of early postpartum complications that result in visits to the emergency department Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Objective This study aimed to review the reasons why postpartum women present to the emergency department (ED) over a short term (≤10 days post-delivery) and to identify the risk factors associated with early visits to the ED. Methods This retrospective chart review included all women who delivered at a regional health system (William Osler Health System, WOHS) in 2018 and presented to the WOHS ED within 10 days after delivery. Baseline descriptive statistics were used to examine the patient demographics and identify the timing of the postpartum visit. Univariate tests were used to identify significant predictors for admission. A multivariate model was developed based on backward selection from these significant factors to identify admission predictors. Results There were 381 visits identified, and the average age of the patients was 31.22 years (SD: 4.83), with median gravidity of 2 (IQR: 1–3). Most patients delivered via spontaneous vaginal delivery (53.0%). The median time of presentation to the ED was 5.0 days, with the following most common reasons: abdominal pain (21.5%), wound-related issues (12.6%), and urinary issues (9.7%). Delivery during the weekend (OR 1.91, 95% CI 1.00–3.65, P = 0.05) was predictive of admission while Group B Streptococcus positive patients were less likely to be admitted (OR 0.22, CI 0.05–0.97, P<0.05) Conclusions This was the first study in a busy community setting that examined ED visits over a short postpartum period. Patient education on pain management and wound care can reduce the rate of early postpartum ED visits.


  • Hundal, Prabhpreet
  • Valani, Rahim
  • Quan, Cassandra
  • Assaie-Ardakany, Shayan
  • Sharma, Tanmay
  • Abou-Seido, Maher
  • Salehi, Leila
  • Amin, Qamar
  • Luca, Simina

publication date

  • 2021