Care of the Obstetric Patient in the Traditional Intensive Care Unit

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Obstetric patients have long been a source of fear for nurses in the intensive care unit (ICU) setting. Several hospitals have moved toward having obstetric ICUs, but most do not have the volume to justify such units, leaving the care of these patients to nurses in traditional ICU settings. Collaboration of care may occur, but it is still imperative that ICU nurses have a basic understanding of the physiologic changes and care necessary to provide optimal outcomes for obstetric patients. Physiologic changes of pregnancy and basic care for pregnant and immediate postpartum patients are reviewed.

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