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Paper to change practice: Magnesium sulphate for eclampsia
Eclampsia complicates about 1 in 2000 deliveries in the UK1 and contributes to around 10% of maternal deaths.2 In the USA, magnesium sulphate is the standard treatment for the prevention and control of eclamptic seizures.3 In the UK, diazepam or phenytoin are generally preferred.4 The results of a large, randomised, multicentre trial published earlier this year make it clear that magnesium sulphate is more effective than either diazepam or phenytoin in preventing further seizures in women who have had an eclamptic convulsion.5
The trial, which was conducted in 9 countries in Asia, Africa and South America, compared magnesium sulphate with diazepam in 905 women and magnesium sulphate with phenytoin …