1. Frye, Donna RN, MN
  2. Clark, Steven L. MD
  3. Piacenza, Dawn RN, MSN
  4. Shay-Zapien, Gina ARNP, MSN


Anatomic and physiologic changes of pregnancy predispose the mother to increased morbidity and mortality whereas increasing risks of a less than optimal outcome for the fetus. The frequency and significance of acute and chronic respiratory conditions in pregnant women have increased in recent years. Clinicians must have an understanding of cardiopulmonary physiology to promptly recognize and treat pregnant women with respiratory conditions ranging from asthma to adult respiratory distress syndrome. Hospitals must establish systems to assure timely assessment, multidisciplinary care, and possibly a plan for transfer to a higher level of care to provide highest quality care to the perinatal patient presenting with a severe respiratory condition to promote optimal outcomes for the woman and the fetus.