Critical care in pregnancy relies predominantly on recommendations from nonpregnant adult critical care with only limited research available for obstetric critical care specifically. The purpose of this document is to review available evidence, propose strategies for obstetric-related critical care, and highlight the need for additional research. Much of the review will, of necessity, focus on general principles of critical care, extrapolating when possible to critical care in pregnancy and the puerperium. This Practice Bulletin is updated to include information about unique issues to pregnancy when conditions such as sepsis or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) are encountered and the obstetrician's role in the management of the critically ill pregnant woman, which is dependent upon the care setting and the intensive care unit (ICU) model used. The role of the tele-intensive care unit in the care of critically ill pregnant women also is explored.
This information is designed as an educational resource to aid clinicians in providing obstetric and gynecologic care, and use of this information is voluntary. This information should not be considered as inclusive of all proper treatments or methods of care or as a statement of the standard of care. It is not intended to substitute for the independent professional judgment of the treating clinician. Variations in practice may be warranted when, in the reasonable judgment of the treating clinician, such course of action is indicated by the condition of the patient, limitations of available resources, or advances in knowledge or technology. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reviews its publications regularly; however, its publications may not reflect the most recent evidence. Any updates to this document can be found on www.acog.org or by calling the ACOG Resource Center.
While ACOG makes every effort to present accurate and reliable information, this publication is provided "as is" without any warranty of accuracy, reliability, or otherwise, either express or implied. ACOG does not guarantee, warrant, or endorse the products or services of any firm, organization, or person. Neither ACOG nor its officers, directors, members, employees, or agents will be liable for any loss, damage, or claim with respect to any liabilities, including direct, special, indirect, or consequential damages, incurred in connection with this publication or reliance on the information presented.
All ACOG committee members and authors have submitted a conflict of interest disclosure statement related to this published product. Any potential conflicts have been considered and managed in accordance with ACOG's Conflict of Interest Disclosure Policy. The ACOG policies can be found on acog.org. For products jointly developed with other organizations, conflict of interest disclosures by representatives of the other organizations are addressed by those organizations. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has neither solicited nor accepted any commercial involvement in the development of the content of this published product.
Number 211 (Replaces Practice Bulletin Number 170, October 2016)
Committee on Practice Bulletins—Obstetrics. This Practice Bulletin was developed by the ACOG Committee on Practice Bulletins—Obstetrics with the assistance of Lauren Plante, MD, MPH and Torri D. Metz, MD.
Published online on April 23, 2019.
Copyright 2019 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, posted on the Internet, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher.
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Critical care in pregnancy. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 211. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol 2019;133:e303–19.