Cardiorespiratory Physiology and Pathophysiology in Pregnancy

  • S. E. Lapinsky
Conference paper
Part of the Yearbook of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine book series (YEARBOOK, volume 1997)


The pregnant state induces profound changes in the mother, resulting in significant alterations in normal physiology. Critical illness in pregnancy provides a unique challenge for the intensivist, in view of this altered maternal physiology, the presence of a fetus, and the occurrence of various diseases specific to pregnancy. The wellbeing of the fetus must be considered, both in terms of its own physiological requirements and its susceptibility to pharmacological and other hazards. Pregnancy-specific diseases such as preeclampsia are associated with characteristic physiological changes, and an understanding of these is essential for appropriate management. This chapter reviews some of the physiological changes occurring during pregnancy that are relevant to critical care management.


Cardiac Output Pulmonary Capillary Wedge Pressure Colloid Osmotic Pressure Uterine Blood Flow Oxygen Dissociation Curve 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

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  • S. E. Lapinsky

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