BACKGROUND: H1N1 influenza is an emerging threat that is life threatening to pregnant women in the third trimester. Six third-trimester maternal deaths with severe H1N1 pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) have been reported in the literature.
CASE: A young woman at 33 weeks of gestation was admitted for bilateral pneumonia with increasing hypoxia. Shortly after admission, she decompensated, requiring transfer to the intensive care unit. After testing confirmed H1N1, her respiratory status declined rapidly, necessitating intubation, mechanical ventilation, and emergent bedside preterm cesarean delivery. After delivery, she developed ARDS, requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation, yet she survived and has recovered.
CONCLUSION: H1N1 influenza is especially dangerous to pregnant women.
Timely delivery can lead to maternal survival with severe H1N1 influenza.
From the Department of Women's Health, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, El Paso, Texas.
Presented in abstract form at the Armed Forces District Meeting, November 15–18, 2009, Honolulu, Hawaii.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author's and do not reflect the official policy of William Beaumont Army Medical Center, the Department of the Army, or the United States Government.
Corresponding author: Cathleen M. Brown, DO, Department of Women's Health, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, 5005 North Piedras Street, El Paso, TX 79920; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Financial Disclosure The author did not report any potential conflicts of interest.