Journal Article

Use of magnesium sulfate for treatment of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia in Mexico


To establish a baseline of magnesium sulfate utilization prior to publication of the updated 2006 technical guidelines on pre-eclampsia and eclampsia in Mexico, and to examine barriers to treating pregnant women with magnesium sulfate as perceived by maternal health experts.


In collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health, medical charts were reviewed for 87 maternal deaths due to hypertensive disorders that occurred in Mexico in 2005. Evidence was gathered on whether magnesium sulfate had been indicated or administered. In-depth interviews with experts were conducted to identify barriers to treatment utilization.


Magnesium sulfate had been used in 37.5% of severe pre-eclampsia and 47.7% of eclampsia cases. Thematic analysis of expert interview data revealed 4 primary barriers to the implementation of evidence-based guidelines and use of magnesium sulfate: lack of knowledge of magnesium sulfate, lack of acceptance, drug-related barriers, and insufficient monitoring or supervision. It was found that magnesium sulfate was not the treatment used for Mexican women who died of pregnancy-related hypertensive disorders in public facilities, and there was suboptimal implementation of evidence-based practices and official guidelines.


The results highlight barriers to magnesium sulfate use, which constitutes a significant gap in treating women with eclampsia in Mexico.