The CIPHER collaboration brought together researchers from 13 countries around the world to tackle the problem of identifying risk of death or severe morbidity for critically ill pregnant women. Traditional models, such as APACHE, used in the ICU vastly overestimate risk for women due to the unique physiology of pregnancy. This leads to unnecessary stress for patients and families and could result in poor clinical treatment decisions.
The CIPHER project involved many investigators from our UBC Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology – Jennifer Hutcheon, KS Joseph, Sarka Lisonkova, Laura Magee and Peter von Dadelszen. It was initiated by a resident, now Assistant Professor, Paul Yong and completed by a former trainee, Helen Ryan. The publication was led by Reproductive and Developmental Sciences (RDS) graduate, Beth Payne, and was also worked on by fellow RDS graduate, Vivian Ukah and Department statistician Jeffrey Bone.
The CIPHER team were able to develop a risk assessment model (the CIPHER model) specific to pregnant women that is accurate and simple to use. This model has now been highlighted in a systematic review on the topic as the best available tool for identifying risk of death in critically ill pregnant women for clinical research and quality improvement projects.
Read about the CIPHER model.