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Cardiopulmonary arrest in pregnancy

Carolyn M Zelop, MD
Section Editors
David L Hepner, MD
Susan M Ramin, MD
Deputy Editor
Vanessa A Barss, MD, FACOG


Cardiopulmonary arrest during pregnancy presents a unique clinical scenario involving two patients: the mother and the fetus. Management of these patients demands a rapid multidisciplinary approach, including anesthesiology, medicine, obstetrics, neonatology, and sometimes cardiothoracic surgery [1]. Basic and advanced cardiac life support algorithms should be implemented; however, the physiological and anatomical changes of pregnancy require some modifications to these protocols. Randomized trials of approaches to management of pregnant women with cardiopulmonary arrest are lacking; therefore, recommendations for these modifications are based on data from small case series and small cohort studies involving patients with cardiac arrest during cesarean delivery, and expert opinion.

This topic will focus on management of cardiopulmonary arrest during pregnancy. Management of cardiac arrest in nonpregnant populations is reviewed separately:

(See "Overview of sudden cardiac arrest and sudden cardiac death".)

(See "Supportive data for advanced cardiac life support in adults with sudden cardiac arrest".)

(See "Advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) in adults".)


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Oct 18, 2016.
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