CLINICAL PEARLS FOR RESPIRATORY FAILURE IN PREGNANCY

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Komal Parikh
Pulmonary and Critical Care Physician with a love for teaching people from all walks of life. Enjoys brunching, working out, pumpkin spice lattes and everything basic in between, all while nerding out over resuscitation, airway, and anything to do with lungs.

The Pre-brief

A gravid female in respiratory distress is probably every intensivist’s worst nightmare. You’re not only trying to save the life of the mom, but also the fetus! Below is a cheat sheet that you can refer to when you get into a situation where you need to intubate a pregnant patient in respiratory distress. You will find the common causes of respiratory distress, physiological changes in the pulmonary system, pointers on preparation for intubation, along with medications that are considered safe all in one place.

References

  1. Delgado et al. General Anesthesia in Obstetrics. BJA Education. 20(6): 201-207. 2020.
  2. Lapinsky SE. Acute respiratory failure in pregnancy. Obstetric Medicine. 2015. 
  3. Bhatia P et al. Physiological and anatomical changes of pregnancy: Implications for anaesthesia. Indian Journal of Anaesthesia.

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