Monitoring women with a complicated pregnancy at home is a safe alternative to hospitalization. This is the conclusion of Dutch researchers in The Lancet Digital Health.
Preeclampsia, fetal growth retardation, fetal anomaly, premature rupture of membranes, decreased fetal movements, or a history of fetal death are all reasons for hospitalizing pregnant women. Researchers from Erasmus MC and UMC Utrecht investigated whether this could be done differently: by monitoring these women at home.
To this end, they set up a non-inferiority study in which six hospitals participated. Together they included 200 women with a complicated pregnancy. Half of the women were hospitalized, while the other half were monitored at home. This group performed a cardiotocography (CTG) at home every day, which midwives in the hospital immediately assessed via telemonitoring. In addition, the women – if necessary – measured their blood pressure and/or temperature themselves on a daily basis.
Also more satisfied
In four out of ten women admitted to hospital, a negative outcome measure occurred around birth, such as an intensive care admission of the newborns. Among the women who were monitored at home, this was the case for about three in ten women. According to the researchers, this shows that it is safe to monitor women with a complicated pregnancy at home.
In addition, the women who stayed at home were more satisfied with the care they received than women who were monitored in hospital. And telemonitoring of pregnant women saves costs compared to hospitalization.