Cardiac Arrest in Pregnancy: The Impact on Mother and Fetus


Morgan Michael

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Publication Date

Spring 2021


Considering pregnancy, many aspects are predictable and planned. Prenatal vitamins, scheduled ultrasounds, feeling that first kick around 20 weeks, morning sickness, and much more. Even if it is a mother's first pregnancy, her doctors and nurses can explain what to be expecting with great accuracy from conception to delivery. Of course, there are many instances where the mother experiences an unexpected aspect of pregnancy; a fetus turned the wrong way, gestational diabetes, multiples, the need for cesarean delivery, and more. However, even with the unexpected events that can occur during the gestational period, most are very well researched, very well prepared for, and with proper medical care, pose little or no risk to the mother or fetus. One unplanned, unexpected event during pregnancy is maternal cardiac arrest. While cardiac arrest itself has a plethora of information and research, cardiac arrest in pregnant patients is less researched. Women of childbearing age are generally healthy, younger and are at low risk for cardiac arrest. The purpose of this research is to compile information from peer-reviewed scholarly articles on maternal cardiac arrest survival rates, perimortem cesarean delivery, and the effects of those two events on the fetus. With proper training, preparation, and quick thinking, there is potential for both maternal and fetal survival in the case of maternal cardiac arrest.


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