Management of pertussis among pregnant women
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Management of pertussis among pregnant women

Simon Oakley Manager, Scientific affairs, Sanofi Pasteur
Adrian Kilcoyne Medical director, Sanofi Pasteur
Janette Smith Senior pharmacovigilance executive, Sanofi Pasteur

In light of the recent outbreak of whooping cough, nurses play a crucial role in increasing uptake of the vaccine, explain Simon Oakley and colleagues

The UK has experienced its worst outbreak of pertussis (whooping cough) in 20 years, with 13 deaths reported in young infants from January to October 2012. The Department of Health introduced a programme to vaccinate pregnant women between 28 and 38 weeks of pregnancy to protect infants who are too young to be vaccinated. However, uptake for women about to give birth during December 2012 was approximately 55 per cent. Nurses and midwives have a vital role in ensuring vaccination coverage among pregnant women, including providing evidence-based information. This article presents information on signs, symptoms and complications of pertussis, diagnosis, treatment, epidemiology and prevention.

Primary Health Care. 23, 7, 28-33. doi: 10.7748/phc2013.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

The authors are employed by Sanofi Pasteur MSD, which markets pertussis-containing vaccines in the UK

Received: 06 March 2013

Accepted: 17 June 2013