The Role of the Anesthesiologist in Preventing Severe Maternal Morbidity and Mortality

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Abstract

Anesthesiologists are responsible for the safe and effective provision of analgesia for labor and anesthesia for cesarean delivery and other obstetric procedures. In addition, obstetric anesthesiologists often have a unique role as the intensivists of the obstetric suite. The anesthesiologist is frequently the clinician with the greatest experience in the acute bedside management of a hemodynamically unstable patient and expertise in life-saving interventions. This review will discuss (1) risks associated with neuraxial and general anesthesia for labor and delivery, and (2) clinical scenarios in which the obstetric anesthesiologist is commonly called upon to function as a “peridelivery intensivist.”

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