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HEMATOCRIT VALUES DURING PREGNANCY IN A NURSE-MIDWIFERY CASELOAD

Authors

  • Patricia Aikins Murphy CNM, MSN,

  • Jane Mashburn CNM, MN,

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    • Jane Mashburn, CNM, MN, is an assistant professor at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. She received her M.N. from Emory University and has practiced in both the private and public sectors

  • Barbara W. Graves CNM, MN, MPH,

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    • Barbara W. Graves, CNM, MN, MPH, holds a dual appointment as Assistant Professor, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, and Staff Nurse-Midwife, Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her M.P.H. from Boston University and her M.N. from Emory University

  • Mickey Gillmor-Kahn CNM, MN

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    • Mickey Gillmor-Kahn, CNM, MN, is the ambulatory care coordinator of the nurse-midwifery service at Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta, Georgia. She is also a clinical instructor, School of Medicine, and clinical associate, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. She received her M.N. from Emory University


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ABSTRACT

This article reviews the normal hematologic changes in pregnancy and the kinetics of iron metabolism. The differences between iron depletion and anemia are described. The hematocrit levels of a nurse-midwifery caseload in a tertiary-care setting are described and compared with recently published population norms. Hematocrits of the sample compared favorably to the population hematocrits until 24 weeks' gestation, when the sample hematocrit mean became statistically lower and remained that way throughout pregnancy. Further analysis was done on the sample hematocrits, comparing differences in parity, age, pregnancy spacing, and AS versus AA hemoglobin. Parous women with a pregnancy interval >12 months had a higher mean hematocrit then nulliparous women. Mean hematocrits of age groups varied significantly only at the 29–32-week interval, with women younger than 18 having lower mean hematocrits than those ≥18. A trend of women with AS hemoglobin having higher hematocrits than women with AA hemoglobin was identified, reaching statistical significance at the 29–32-week interval.

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