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critical care obstetrics, critically ill pregnant women, electronic fetal monitoring, fetal assessment, fetal heart rate patterns



  1. Simpson, Kathleen Rice PhD, RNC, FAAN


When a critically ill woman is pregnant, clinical interventions for the mother can have a profound effect on fetal status. It is essential that the fetus be considered as the second patient when developing the plan of care. The most practical solution for providing comprehensive care to pregnant women in the intensive care unit (ICU) is a collaborative approach involving members of the ICU and the perinatal team, each contributing their unique knowledge and skills to the care of the mother and her unborn baby. The purpose of this article is to describe a collaborative approach to caring for a pregnant woman in the ICU along with a brief overview of fetal assessment for ICU care providers so they can become familiar with terms and methods used in assessing fetal status and common interventions that promote fetal well-being.