Brian Sharp featured as health expert in The Atlantic, speaks to incidences of precipitous labor in the emergency department

Rapid or precipitous labor lasts only a couple of hours, and an article in The Atlantic sheds light on its effects on Mom and Baby, as well as risk factors and possible complications.

While most labors stretch several long hours, some parents experience precipitous labor (or fast labor) that only lasts two or three hours. Fast labor seems great at first glance (fewer contractions and less pain!), but it could come with worrisome side effects. While rare — making up just 3% of births — precipitous labor does happen.

The article is written by Sarah Zhang and titled “Childbirth Is No Fun. But an Extremely Fast Birth Can Be Worrisome.” It describes the Tess Camp and her experience giving birth (after just 12 minutes of labor) in a car on the way to the emergency department.

Brian Sharp, MD, associate professor of emergency medicine, UW School of Medicine and Public Health, and patient safety officer, UW Health, contributed to the article as a health expert in emergency medicine.

“Brian Sharp, an emergency-medicine physician at UW Health — a large academic hospital in Madison, Wisconsin — told me his hospital averages a little over once a year; the smaller community site where he also works just had its first case of precipitous labor in years.”

Dr. Sharp completed his emergency medicine training at the University of Michigan, where he also completed the two-year Graduate Medical Education Scholars Program in Healthcare Administration. As UW Health Patient Safety Officer, Dr. Sharp works to improve patient safety as the health system strives for zero patient harm, and collaborates with Patient Relations to address patient and families concerns about quality and safety of care.