Physiologic changes in pregnancy and their impact on critical care

Crit Care Med. 2005 Oct;33(10 Suppl):S256-8. doi: 10.1097/01.ccm.0000183540.69405.90.


Objectives: To describe the major pregnancy-induced physiologic changes that affect the care of patients who are critically ill.

Methods: We reviewed relevant textbooks and articles pertaining to physiologic alterations produced by pregnancy. Those changes that have a bearing on patients admitted to an intensive care unit were abstracted, summarized, and organized by organ system.

Conclusions: Several organ systems manifest significant change in function during pregnancy. The cardiovascular and pulmonary systems are the two most important with regard to critical care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Critical Care*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / physiopathology*