Treatment of respiratory infections in pregnant women
- Lucia Larson, MD
Lucia Larson, MD
- Associate Professor of Medicine
- The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
- Thomas M File, Jr, MD
Thomas M File, Jr, MD
- Section Editor — Pulmonary Infections
- Professor of Medicine
- Northeast Ohio Medical University
- Section Editors
- Vincenzo Berghella, MD
Vincenzo Berghella, MD
- Section Editor — Obstetrics
- Director, Maternal-Fetal Medicine
- Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Thomas Jefferson University
- John G Bartlett, MD
John G Bartlett, MD
- Editor-in-Chief — Infectious Diseases
- Section Editor — HIV; Pulmonary Infections
- Professor Emeritus
- Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
The clinical features, diagnosis, and management of respiratory infection are generally similar in pregnant and nonpregnant patients. However, some additional factors need to be considered in pregnancy, including changes in susceptibility to infection, changes in maternal physiology, and the effect of the infection and its treatment on the fetus.
This topic review will discuss issues specific to respiratory infections in the setting of pregnancy. Clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and management of respiratory infections in the general population are reviewed separately (refer to individual topic reviews).
Awareness of pregnancy-associated changes in respiratory physiology is important to the management of respiratory disease in pregnancy (figure 1 and figure 2). Such changes allow the pregnant woman to meet the metabolic needs of her fetus and are discussed in detail elsewhere. (See "Maternal adaptations to pregnancy: Physiologic respiratory changes and dyspnea", section on 'Respiratory changes'.)
Important points to consider when evaluating pregnant women with respiratory illness include:
●Although pregnant women often experience dyspnea, tachypnea is not normal. The respiratory system adapts to increased needs largely by an increase in tidal volume without an increase in respiratory rate. (See "Maternal adaptations to pregnancy: Physiologic respiratory changes and dyspnea", section on 'Respiratory changes'.)To continue reading this article, you must log in with your personal, hospital, or group practice subscription. For more information on subscription options, click below on the option that best describes you:
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- BASIC PRINCIPLES
- GENERAL APPROACH
- SELECTED DISORDERS AND TREATMENT
- The common cold
- - Hospital acquired and aspiration pneumonia
- Virus-induced wheezing and asthma
- POSTPARTUM ISSUES
- SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS
- The common cold