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Maternal Collapse in Pregnancy and the Puerperium (Green-top Guideline No. 56)

Summary: Maternal collapse is a rare but life-threatening event, with a wide ranging aetiology. The outcome primarily for the mother, but also the fetus, depends on prompt and effective resuscitation

The purpose of this guideline is to:

  • Discuss the identification of women at increased risk of maternal collapse
  • Discuss the different causes of maternal collapse
  • Delineate the initial and continuing management of maternal collapse
  • Review maternal and neonatal outcomes

The guideline covers both hospital and community settings, and includes all gestations and the postpartum period. The resuscitation team and equipment and training requirements are also covered.

Video: Real-time simulation scenario of a perimortem cesarean section

COVID disclaimer: This guideline developed as part of the regular programme of Green-top Guidelines, as outlined in our document Developing a Green-top Guideline: Guidance for developers, and prior to the emergence of COVID-19.

Version history: This is the second edition of this paper.

Please note that the information provided in this update will be considered for update by the RCOG Guidelines Committee 3 years after publication, with an intermediate assessment of the need to update 2 years after publication.

Declarations of interest

Dr J Chu: None declared.

Dr T A Johnston: None declared.

Dr J Geoghegan: None declared.



This page was last reviewed 17 December 2019.