Features  |   March 2017
Levels of Maternal Care: An Anesthesiologist’s Perspective
Article Information
Cardiovascular Anesthesia / Critical Care / Obstetric Anesthesia / Pediatric Anesthesia / Features
Features   |   March 2017
Levels of Maternal Care: An Anesthesiologist’s Perspective
ASA Monitor 03 2017, Vol.81, 10-11.
ASA Monitor 03 2017, Vol.81, 10-11.
Adverse maternal outcomes are a concern not just worldwide but in the United States as well. Compared to other developed countries, the maternal mortality rate in the U.S. has risen over the past 25 years.1  Parturients are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications in this country than women in any other developed nation.1,2  Not only has maternal mortality in the U.S. increased, but severe maternal morbidity (e.g., sepsis, acute renal failure, pulmonary edema) has more than doubled in the 21st century, affecting 50,000 women every year.3  These statistics are surprising considering this country’s advances in medical care such as improvement in aseptic technique, development and utilization of medications to control hemorrhage and blood pressure, and the percentage of births being attended by those trained in obstetrical care.2  The increase in severe maternal morbidity in the U.S. has resulted in mortality increasing from different etiologies than are seen worldwide.Cardiovascular disease is now the number-onecontributor to maternal mortality in the U.S.; non-cardiac co-existing disease and sepsis play an increasingly large role also.4 
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