• Maternal Obesity and Neck Circumference

      Anglim, B; O’Higgins, A; Daly, N; Farren, M; Turner, MJ (Irish Medical Journal, 2015-06)
      Obese women are more likely to require general anaesthesia for an obstetric intervention than non-obese. Difficult tracheal intubation and oxygen desaturation is more common in pregnancy. Failed tracheal intubation has been associated with an increase in neck circumference (NC). We studied the relationship between maternal obesity and NC as pregnancy advanced in women attending a standard antenatal clinic. Of the 96 women recruited, 13.5% were obese. The mean NC was 36.8cm (SD 1.9) in the obese women compared with 31.5cm (SD 1.6) in women with a normal BMI (p<0.001) at 18-22 weeks gestation. In the obese women it increased on average by 1.5cm by 36-40 weeks compared with an increase of 1.6 cm in women with a normal BMI. The antenatal measurement of NC is a simple, inexpensive tool that is potentially useful for screening obese women who may benefit from an antenatal anaesthetic assessment.
    • A national survey of implementation of guidelines for gestational diabetes mellitus

      O’Higgins, A; Dunne, F; Lee, B; Smith, D; Turner, MJ (Irish Medical Journal, 2014-09)
      In 2010, national guidelines for the management of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) were published by the Health Service Executive (HSE). In 2012, a questionnaire was distributed to all maternity units to survey implementation of the guidelines. All units screened women for GDM, but used different screening tests with fifteen units (79%) using the recommended 75g OGTT, three units (16%) using a 100g OGTT and one unit (5%) using a 50g glucose challenge test. Optimal outcomes are best achieved through multidisciplinary diabetes-obstetric care and this was available in nine of the units (47%). The prevalence of GDM varied from 2.2 â 7.4%. Insulin usage varied from 15-56%. Six centres (31%) had not implemented the national guidelines in full because of lack of resources. Despite national endorsement of the guideline, significant variations remain in implementation. This may lead to differences in clinical outcomes depending on where a woman attends for obstetric care.