The focus of the symposium in this issue of AACN Advanced Critical Care is the care of women who become critically ill during pregnancy, labor, birth, or the postpartum period. For most women, pregnancy and birth is low-risk. However, when critical illness occurs, care measures required to stabilize and improve outcomes for obstetric patients and their newborns are a challenge. For health care providers in an obstetric environment, invasive hemodynamic monitoring, intubation and mechanical ventilation, and vasoactive medication administration may present a challenge. Similarly, managing the additional considerations of pregnancy, such as electronic fetal monitoring; 2 patients in 1, with the addition of the fetus or newborn; and a new set of what is considered normal—from assessment parameters to laboratory values—may be a challenge for those accustomed to providing intensive care for acutely ill, non-pregnant adults. Formal recognition of maternal-fetal medicine as a...

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