Critical care of the obstetric patient

Janet M. Shapiro

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The obstetric patient poses exceptional challenges in the intensive care unit. Knowledge of the physiologic changes of pregnancy and specific pregnancy-related disorders is necessary for optimal management. Intensive care unit diagnoses may include preeclampsia, including the HELLP syndrome, pulmonary embolic disease, amniotic fluid embolism, status asthmatic us, respiratory infection, the acute respiratory distress syndrome, and sepsis. The management of mechanical ventilation is based on principles of avoiding lung injury, and hypercapnia may be tolerated even during the pregnancy. When the clinician is faced with the extraordinary instance of cardiopulmonary arrest, perimortem cesarean delivery must be considered to improve the potential for maternal and fetal survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-286
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Intensive Care Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Amniotic fluid embolism
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • HELLP syndrome
  • Intensive care unit
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Obstetric
  • Perimortem cesarean delivery
  • Preeclampsia
  • Pregnancy
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Status asthmaticus


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