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OBJECTIVE: To describe the epidemiology of 2009 A/H1N1 influenza in critically ill pregnant women. DESIGN: Population based cohort study. SETTING: All intensive care units in Australia and New Zealand. PARTICIPANTS: All women with 2009 H1N1 influenza who were pregnant or recently post partum and admitted to an intensive care unit in Australia or New Zealand between 1 June and 31 August 2009. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity. RESULTS: 64 pregnant or postpartum women admitted to an intensive care unit had confirmed 2009 H1N1 influenza. Compared with non-pregnant women of childbearing age, pregnant or postpartum women with 2009 H1N1 influenza were at increased risk of admission to an intensive care unit (relative risk 7.4, 95% confidence interval 5.5 to 10.0). This risk was 13-fold greater (13.2, 9.6 to 18.3) for women at 20 or more weeks' gestation. At the time of admission to an intensive care unit, 22 women (34%) were post partum and two had miscarried. 14 women (22%) gave birth during their stay in intensive care and 26 (41%) were discharged from an intensive care unit with ongoing pregnancy. All subsequently delivered. 44 women (69%) were mechanically ventilated. Of these, nine (14%) were treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Seven women (11%) died. Of 60 births after 20 weeks' gestation, four were stillbirths and three were infant deaths. 22 (39%) of the liveborn babies were preterm and 32 (57%) were admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit. Of 20 babies tested, two were positive for the 2009 H1N1 virus. CONCLUSIONS: Pregnancy is a risk factor for critical illness related to 2009 H1N1 influenza, which causes maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality.

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Adolescent, Adult, Australia, Cohort Studies, Critical Care, Critical Illness, Female, Humans, Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype, Influenza, Human, New Zealand, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Complications, Infectious, Pregnancy Outcome, Prenatal Care, Risk Factors, Young Adult